Wabtec begins operations at Neighborhood 91 production campus at Pittsburgh airport
June 8, 2021
PITTSBURGH—A recently completed 11,000-square-foot additive manufacturing facility at Pittsburgh International Airport is the cornerstone of a rail industry manufacturer’s efforts to provide parts faster than ever with a simplified supply chain.
Wabtec Corporation (www.wabteccorp.com) opened the new facility at Neighborhood 91, an additive manufacturing production campus, or hub, where the Fortune 500 company will 3D-print production parts for rail and transit customers. Wabtec will employ late-model technology, including an SLM® 800 selective laser melting printer, to produce large-scale, lightweight parts at up to 80 percent shorter lead times, the company said in a release.
Neighborhood 91 is reported to be the first development to condense and connect all components of the additive manufacturing and 3D-printing supply chain into one powerful production ecosystem. The site is currently being developed in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, and is the first development of the 195-acre Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus.
Located adjacent to the airport terminal and runway, Neighborhood 91 provides the ability to produce parts and immediately ship them from the airport to any location in the world within 24 hours. The result, according to Wabtec, is improved supply chain performance and lower transportation costs.
“Advances in additive technology are changing the way we design and build the next generation of business-critical, sustainable products for our customers,” said Wabtec Chief Technology Officer Eric Gebhardt, in the release. “Neighborhood 91 and its one-of-a-kind additive ecosystem will help foster creative solutions to engineering challenges and breakthroughs in 3D printing. Our Neighborhood 91 facility and the other additive labs in Western Pennsylvania will accelerate new innovations that shrink lead times, reduce cost, and increase reliability.”
Wabtec is a prominent global provider of equipment, systems, digital technologies, and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine, and industrial markets. The company’s production at Neighborhood 91 will include metal aluminum transit components, such as brake parts and heat sinks for freight locomotives, among numerous other rail applications. Wabtec plans to use additive technologies to produce more than 25,000 parts by 2025 in support of the internal supply chain.
“To have a hometown Fortune 500 company like Wabtec continue to expand here in additive manufacturing is a win for the airport and our region,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, in the release. “Thanks to Wabtec for being a great regional partner, and we look forward to the continued growth at Neighborhood 91.
”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 additive supply chain ranging from powders to production, testing, analysis, and delivery. Neighborhood 91 tenants gain efficiencies in production, cost savings from on-demand printing, and access to a major international airport, Wabtec said in the release.
“Part of the vision for Neighborhood 91 is to highlight the assets of the region right at the airport so we can build on community strengths,” said Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis, in the release. “For Wabtec, a global manufacturing leader, to choose Neighborhood 91 for its advanced manufacturing is a sign that our region has all it needs to be a leader in this space.”