Federal funds help ATK expand fiber placement capability

The U.S. Department of Defense is paying $20 million of the $50 million ATK is investing in six new fiber placement machines for F-35 work.

News website Standard.net (Ogden, Utah, USA) reports that a $20 million investment from the federal government is helping improve the production of composite parts at ATK Aerospace Structures (Clearfield, Utah, USA).

A new fiber placement machine (manufacturer unknown) unveiled by ATK will allow the company to produce large parts up to five times faster while cutting manufacturing costs and improving product quality, said Mark Messick, vice president and general manager of the company's Aerospace Structures division.

The report says the fiber-placement machine is the first of up to six that may be installed at the facility. The U.S. Department of Defense has provided $20 million for the machines, while ATK is investing $30 million.

"This is a partnership between government and industry where both are making significant contributions," Messick said in the report. "We recognize in today's environment the precious nature of any funding, and we intend to make the most of every dollar."

The website reports that much of the work with the new machines will be dedicated to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has proposed a large increase in F-35 production, which would add an estimated 120 new jobs at ATK's Clearfield facility.

Information: Click here for the original Standard.net report.