Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was in Plattsburgh, New York to tour Norsk Titanium today. The Democrat believes there is great potential for the Defense Department to contract with the airplane part manufacturer.
Charles Schumer says this is the 26th time he’s visited Clinton County since becoming a senator in 1999, but the first time he has seen Norsk Titanium’s 3-D manufacturing facility.
The senator called the process one of the most exciting things he has ever seen. “It’s just amazing. We all know how important titanium is. We all know what a role it plays in aviation in particular but in so many other fields. And the idea that you can print titanium with the new technology 3D technology is totally exciting. You know sometimes we forget the unbelievable technological revolution we’re in the middle of. Maybe the most important thing that I asked was ‘So who’s your competition?’ There isn’t any. Nobody has this technology. So that is amazing.”
Norsk is already working with Boeing and Schumer says that is the tip of the iceberg. The Democrat is hopeful the company and its technology can pique the interest of the Defense Department. “Who is the number one maker of aircraft in the world? The United States Department of Defense. And our country and our Air Force and our pilots and our soldiers and our people could really really benefit if they employed the technology here at Norsk. So there’s huge potential.”
Norsk CEO Warren Boley says the company is currently focused on commercial aircraft but agrees there is great potential for DoD contracts. “Opportunities with the Department of Defense are very, very significant. If you look at the amount of titanium that is used in a F-35 or a new bomber or submarines. The DoD labs, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force research labs have started the evaluation process on a very preliminary basis. They’re doing their evaluations to understand the integrity of this product and its use and applicability. So that’s very, very promising.”
Five machines are currently active at the Plattsburgh facility and two will be installed tomorrow. Two more are on the way. A larger production facility that will house an additional 23 machines is planned for completion in early 2019. Those machines are being built and the company is deciding whether to operate them in a temporary facility, at their headquarters in Norway, or store them until the new building is ready.