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Latest Arch News
Sep 23, 2021
Boeing to build Illinois factory to produce MQ-25 Stingray Hundreds of manufacturing jobs will support production of the U.S. Navy’s unmanned aircraft. Boeing will build the U.S. Navy's MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueler at a new 300,000ft2 facility at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Illinois. The facility will feature state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and tools, including robotic automation and advanced assembly techniques, to improve product quality and employee ergonomics. The new facility, scheduled for completion in 2024, initially will employ approximately 150 mechanics, engineers, and support staff who will build the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft. Employment could reach up to 300 with additional orders. “The world’s largest aerospace company is doubling down on Illinois because of our unparalleled assets in the transportation and logistics sector and the world-class talent of our people,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “To prepare our communities for the future, my administration is committed to making continued investments that will modernize our airports, spark new innovation, and bring jobs and economic opportunities to our communities from Chicago to St. Clair and beyond.” Boeing digitally engineered the entire MQ-25 aircraft and its systems, resulting in high-fidelity models that are used to drive quality, efficiency, and flexibility throughout the production and sustainment process. “The team and state-of-the-art technology we’re bringing to the Navy’s MQ-25 program is unprecedented, and we’re incredibly proud to be expanding both as we build the future of autonomous systems in Illinois,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Systems, Boeing Defense, Space & Security . “We’ve received great support from MidAmerica Airport and countless dedicated employees, and we’re excited to build the Navy’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft right here in the Metro East.” For two years, Boeing and the Navy have been flight testing the Boeing-owned MQ-25 test asset T1 from MidAmerica Airport, where in recent history-making missions T1 has refueled an F/A-18 Super Hornet , an E-2D Hawkeye, and an F-35C Lightning II. The U.S. Navy intends to procure more than 70 MQ-25 aircraft to help extend the range of the carrier air wing, and the majority of those will be built in the new facility. Boeing is currently producing the first seven MQ-25 aircraft, plus two ground test articles, at its St. Louis facilities, and they will be transported to MidAmerica for flight test. The MQ-25 program office, including its core engineering team, will remain based in St. Louis. The new MQ-25 facility will be in addition to existing manufacturing operations at Boeing St. Clair, which produces components for the CH-47 Chinook, F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-15, and other defense products. As part of its continued investment in customer experience and knowledge sharing, metal-cutting company Sandvik Coromant has opened a new Sandvik Coromant Center in Mebane, North Carolina. In conjunction, the company has moved its U.S. headquarters to the same location. With approximately 170 employees, the updated 167,000ft2 facility houses an existing production unit, the new tech center and corporate offices, all in one common location. Mebane lies at the heart of all major aerospace and automotive customers within a 200-mile radius and is easily accessible from three nearby airports, which allows Sandvik Coromant to be close to customers and partners. In addition, Mebane is located near the Research Triangle near North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sean Holt, president of Sales Area Americas for Sandvik Coromant, said, “With all departments present in Mebane, we can provide customers and partners with a fully integrated, state-of-the-art immersion into the latest technologies and machining applications. In addition, we anticipate additional synergies between the proximity of our production unit and the activity from our new Sandvik Coromant Center.” Holt cited the great collaboration the center has built with local technical schools since the Mebane manufacturing location – which specializes in indexable milling , turning, and drilling tools and made-to-order tooling – opened in 1980. He sees an opportunity for expanding that collaboration with the engineering schools of the Research Triangle to bring in new talent. “Keeping our workforce super strong is important to Sandvik Coromant,” Holt says. The new Sandvik Coromant Center Mebane is a hub for training, R&D testing, customer projects, digital live machining (DLM) capabilities, and an opportunity for comprehensive customer and partner engagement with the overall Sandvik Coromant experience. Sandvik Coromant Center Mebane allows customers and partners to fully interact with the latest technology and digital machining techniques, including Sandvik Coromant’s CoroPlus® tooling platform. Customers also can work together with Sandvik Coromant manufacturing specialists, development and process engineers, and CAM programmers to develop new ways of overcoming machining challenges. In the virtual press conference announcing the opening, Holt emphasized the company is fully open for business in Mebane, open to customers, while observing proper health precautions. Complete with a large auditorium, integrated showroom, and modern machine tools, the new Sandvik Coromant Center Mebane also features an ITAR aerospace project area. In addition, the DLM system can be used for broadcasting training and machining demonstrations, allowing for collaboration with others around the globe in real time. Currently, there are 17 Sandvik Coromant Centers located across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. While each facility has a physical location, they have been built with digital adaptability in mind for virtual training and events. The interconnectivity of the centers facilitates many opportunities for problem-solving. Sandvik Coromant Centers work together, along with industry partners across the globe, to deliver webinars and digital events that tackle some of the most pertinent manufacturing concerns, such as reducing downtime, best machining practices, and selecting the right tool for the job. The new Sandvik Coromant Center Mebane is part of this network. Helen Blomqvist, Sandvik Coromant president said, “the U.S. is very important, a key market, like a home market.” Other Sandvik Coromant Centers in the U.S. include Schaumburg, Illinois, as well as two Project and Training Sites in Gardena, California, and Brownsburg, Indiana. The vision for all Sandvik Coromant Centers, including the new Mebane location, is that they are permanent trade shows, where visitors will get the same immersive, state-of-the-art experience at all locations. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based ARCH® Cutting Tools Corp. , an ARCH Global Precision Co., has acquired CONTOUR360 of Cornish, Maine. The reputation of CONTOUR360 for supplying high-quality engineered solid round cutting tools was the foremost consideration for developing the relationship. As a leader in the industry, delivering custom tools to customers in the aerospace, medical, automotive, defense, and industrial manufacturing markets, CONTOUR360’s relentless dedication to customer relationships will blend seamlessly with the ARCH Cutting Tools culture. "I am extremely proud to have the CONTOUR360 team join the ARCH family. As I've gotten to know the capabilities and values of CONTOUR360, it has become clear that the team's dedication to quality, service, and innovative tool design shines through in everything they do," said ARCH Cutting Tools – Division President Jeff Cederstrom. "These values, along with a clear entrepreneurial spirit, are strongly aligned with the ARCH Cutting Tools culture. The reputation of CONTOUR360 is second to none, and we look forward to working together." Tom Gleason, an owner of CONTOUR360, said, "We are very proud to be joining the ARCH Cutting Tool team and confident that the legacy that CONTOUR360 has built over the past 28 years will provide a solid base upon which the company can grow. Our baby is in good hands." "Without fail, everyone I've dealt with in the ARCH family has conducted themselves with honesty, integrity, and a passion for the industry," said John Moller, an owner of CONTOUR360. "For these reasons, the decision to join the ARCH team was a no-brainer. The partnership between ARCH Cutting Tools and CONTOUR360 is a perfect fit and an important step as ARCH builds a world-class cutting tool brand." ARCH President and CEO Eli Crotzer believes that the strengths of CONTOUR360 will complement the customer-focused culture that ARCH Cutting Tools has built over the years. "I have had the pleasure of getting to know this ownership group over the last five years, as well as visited the CONTOUR360 facility on multiple occasions," Crotzer noted. "From the beginning of our relationship, I was impressed with the technical expertise within the CONTOUR360 workforce. As ARCH continues to build and expand upon our leading national customs and specials business, there is no question that CONTOUR360 will further enhance our offering to the marketplace."