Rolls-Royce expands composites site in California

The facility will develop production-ready manufacturing processes and produce components that will be used for engine test programs. 

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Rolls-Royce (London, UK) has completed a $30 million expansion into a new 62,000-square-foot facility that will be dedicated to research and development of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials and processes for use in aircraft engine components.

In May 2013, Rolls-Royce purchased Hyper-Therm High-Temperature Composites, a privately-held company based in in Huntington Beach, in May 2013 and continues to grow and invest with this new “CMC technology hub” located in in Cypress, Calif.

Rolls-Royce President and CEO of North America Marion Blakey says this expansion will develop new solutions to improve performance of future aircraft engines. “The development of lighter, stronger, composite fiber components is just part of our commitment to continuously improve the performance of our products by focusing on lowering fuel consumption, emissions and noise. The team here in Cypress will be dedicated to seeing the commercial application of these technologies that will soon be adopted into advanced manufacturing production methods for gas turbine components.”

“The turbine sits at the heart of the engine. I am very excited about several technologies we are developing across Rolls-Royce that will contribute to a significant reduction in fuel consumption. Our HTC team in California is part of a global team working on high temperature composites,” says Andy Greasley, Executive Vice President – Turbines, Civil Aerospace.

The facility will develop production-ready manufacturing processes and produce components that will be used for engine test programs. From there, manufacturing processes refined in Cypress facility will be applied to a future dedicated production facility for manufacturing of engine components.

Since Rolls-Royce acquired Hyper-Therm in 2013, it has grown from 15 employees to nearly 50 positions today. The company expects to hire at least 10 more people this year with the potential for 40 more positions as production and testing of products increase. In late 2015, Rolls-Royce received tax incentives totaling nearly $735,000 for the purchase of the high precision machinery, from the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.