Wabtec Corp. will join Neighborhood 91, the additive manufacturing production campus at Pittsburgh’s International Airport Innovation Campus. Neighborhood 91 is the first development in the world to both condense and connect all components of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing supply chain into one powerful production ecosystem.
The agreement makes Wabtec the first manufacturing anchor tenant at Neighborhood 91 and builds upon the company’s growing additive technology capabilities and footprint in western Pennsylvania, which includes 3D-printing labs in Erie and Grove City.
“Additive technology is a key focus area for us that provides new capabilities to drive innovation where traditional manufacturing could not,” said Eric Gebhardt, Wabtec’s chief technology officer. “This agreement continues our investment in resources that enable our engineers to design new and complex products for the industries we serve. As the first development in the world to connect all elements of the additive manufacturing supply chain into a single location, Neighborhood 91 is the ideal location to fully realize the potential of this technology.”
Wabtec will employ the latest in additive manufacturing technology to produce state-of-the-art, large-scale, lightweight parts for transit rail customers and reduce lead times by up to 80 percent. Production will include metal aluminum transit components like brake parts and heat sinks for freight locomotives. By 2025, the company plans to use additive manufacturing in the production of over 25,000 parts.
“Wabtec’s commitment to Neighborhood 91 is the latest example of our region continuing to move forward even in a pandemic,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “A Fortune 500 company, Wabtec’s decision to select Neighborhood 91 for its next manufacturing facility is a huge step for the development and Pittsburgh International Airport.”
The Neighborhood 91 concept is based on co-located capital resources at the core of the development. It will house a complete end-to-end ecosystem offering:
- Powder, parts, post-production, testing and analysis
- Common powder storage facilities
- Efficiencies in production/post-production and delivery
- Tenants’ clients cost savings from on-demand printing
- Reduced transportation costs
- Airport access
- And perhaps the most important, argon, helium and other noble gases, which are essential elements of additive manufacturing, reaching up to 60 percent of additive manufacturing costs.
“Part of our vision as an airport is to advance the region’s role as a world leader,” said Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis. “Additive manufacturing is looking for a place to call home and now, with Neighborhood 91, that vision is becoming reality. Neighborhood 91 is designed for industry leaders like Wabtec to advance the application of additive technologies for their customers. By condensing the supply chain, this campus will accelerate the adoption of additive in the manufacturing space.”
Neighborhood 91, developed in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, is the first development of the 195-acre Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus. Wabtec will occupy more than 11,000 square feet of space at Neighborhood 91, which is currently under construction and targeting completion by Spring 2021. The company will be able to ship parts immediately from the airport to any location in the world within 24 hours, which will improve supply chain performance and cut transportation costs.