Siemens Corp. announced the opening of its joint-venture investment casting operation with Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp. in Hillsborough County, FL, a $139-million project that will produce blades and vanes exclusively for Siemens gas turbines. Advanced Airfoil Components (AAC), as the venture is known, is a 210,000-sq.ft., standalone plant that will continue to be built-out in stages and completed over the next four years.
The project was announced in May 2017.
The investment casting process involves a series of production stages: patterns of the finished parts are formed in wax, and these patterns coated in a slurry to form a coating. The coated parts are fired in furnace to form ceramic molds. With the wax evacuated the empty ceramic molds are placed in a specially constructed furnace and invested with the selected alloy. The filled molds are held under controlled atmosphere until the part solidifies according to a determined crystallization pattern.
Siemens noted that AAC will be capable of producing blades and vanes for the entire range of Siemens gas turbines, including its new 9000HL heavy-duty turbine.
“Not only does this joint venture help reduce costs and support our supply chain needs, but it will create 350 high-wage, skilled positions, including technical engineers, manufacturing technicians and production workers and expand Siemens more than 5,000 employees footprint in Florida,” stated Lisa Davis, CEO Energy for Siemens AG, of which Siemens Corp. is a subsidiary.
Chromalloy has operated an investment casting foundry in Tampa since 2011, where it produces castings for turbofan aircraft engines, as well as a separate, adjacent plant producing cores to support the investment casting plant. It supplies turbofan and industrial-gas turbine engine manufacturers, and supports Chromalloy’s global repair and replacement service program for aircraft engine parts.
“Our collaboration with Siemens in the creation of Advanced Airfoil Components is a natural progression in our partnership that will ensure success and financial profitability in this market space,” stated Tom Mepham, CEO of Sequa Corporation, the parent company of Chromalloy.