Timken opens casting plant

Timken today announced that it has launched a fully integrated casting operation to produce precision aerospace aftermarket components at the company’s new facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Timken says it is now the only supplier in the aerospace aftermarket with the full capability to produce its own castings for blades, vanes, nozzles and turbine engine hardware.

‘This strategic investment is another move to differentiate ourselves in how we bring value to customers,’ said Barry Stonehouse, general manager of Timken’s aerospace aftermarket solutions. ‘By drawing on Timken’s metallurgical expertise, we have further strengthened our leadership position in a market where other suppliers have been constrained by the need to rely on limited external casting sources.’

The new operation employs investment casting, a process that is capable of producing near-net parts that need little final finishing. Investment casting uses an expendable wax pattern surrounded, or invested, by a ceramic shell. Removing the wax forms a mould with an extremely smooth surface and precise dimensional tolerance.

The casting operation occupies 20,000 square feet, or nearly one-quarter of the 85,000-square-foot Mesa facility. The fully integrated customer solution centre opened in October and the casting operation began production in December.

The Mesa facility more than doubled the capacity of Timken’s previous aftermarket operation in Gilbert, Arizona, which was vacated at the end of last year.