Boeing opens South Carolina composites research center

The 104,000-sq-ft facility will focus on composites fabrication, NDT, repair, electromagnetics and materials.

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Boeing (Seattle, WA, US) on Sept. 24 opened its research and technology center in North Charleston, SC, US, which is devoted to current and next-generation technology development.

Boeing leaders joined local dignitaries and employees for a ribbon cutting and tours of the 104,000-ft2 Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T)-South Carolina center, which leads the company's research and development efforts in areas of advanced manufacturing, with a focus on composite fuselage and propulsion systems production. The center broke ground in early 2014.

"This new research center will help us better meet the needs of our customers by enhancing our ability to provide effective, relevant technology in today's competitive marketplace as we enter our second century of business," says John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology.

The center includes lab spaces where scientists and engineers research and develop technologies in advanced production systems; nondestructive evaluation and inspection; production analytics and advanced test systems; structural repair technologies; electromagnetic effects; chemical technology; and composite fabrication and materials. The center also includes two autoclaves; a paint booth with automation capabilities; and a cleanroom for prepreg layup.

"The people and facilities we're introducing today will help us apply new technology and solutions to our products across the entire company faster and more efficiently than ever before," says Lane Ballard, leader of the Boeing Research & Technology-South Carolina center.

BR&T is the company's advanced research and development organization, providing technologies that enable the development of future aerospace solutions while improving the cycle time, cost, quality and performance of existing Boeing products and services. BR&T-South Carolina joins the company's 10 other research centers around the world in Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Russia and the United States, including Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington.