DANVILLE, Va. (October 5, 2022) – The U.S. Navy is launching its Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) within the State of Virginia’s Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA) on the Danville Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) campus. The creation of the AM CoE marks the first project partnership for the CMA. It demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to investing in and delivering the skilled workforce necessary to strengthen and expand the Navy’s industrial base to achieve the Nation’s strategic defense objectives.
A first for the Navy, the AM CoE will provide a platform for training a skilled additive manufacturing workforce through partnership with the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program, a rigorous, focused 24/5 training schedule that graduates student cohorts every four months in multiple disciplines critical to the defense industrial base (DIB). Industrial manufacturing partners include major shipbuilders like General Dynamics Electric Boat, Huntington-Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, Austal USA as well as key industry experts like Phillips Corporation, Industrial Inspection and Analysis, FasTech, Mitutoyo, and Master Gage & Tool, to bring multiple processes utilized by the DIB under one roof to improve efficiencies and reduce barriers to entry for manufacturers hoping to enter additive manufacturing.
Utilizing three full bays dedicated to accelerating and scaling additive manufacturing parts and qualification processes, the AM CoE’s principal functions will be to:
• Promote adoption of mature industrial qualification processes and data to earn technical warrant holder approval for additive manufacturing production;
• Enable scale and speed to address material readiness challenges and critical fragilities in the castings/forgings market space;
• Pave a path for sustainable and scalable additive manufacturing production capability in the submarine industrial base.
“Building and sustaining the Navy’s defense industrial base workforce has become a national security imperative, and the demonstration of partnership and collaboration that is represented here in Danville, Virginia today is part of the ‘Whole Government, Whole of Industry’ approach that must be in place to ensure the domestic manufacturing capacity that is required to maintain the Navy’s maritime edge, and surge to meet a dynamic threat environment,” said Matt Sermon, Executive Director, PEO Strategic Submarines.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the AM CoE was held during the second annual ATDM Summit where the U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and additional federal, state and local government officials joined with partners from defense industry and academia to convene topics pertaining to closing skills and workforce gaps within the naval defense industrial base.
During the ceremony, the announcement was also made that the ATDM program, which aims to provide 800-1,000 qualified candidates to fill critical vacancies in the DIB annually by 2024, will expand with the creation of a regional training facility adjacent to the CMA. The multimillion-dollar investment into over 100,000 square feet of dedicated training capability, capacity, and infrastructure will enable ATDM to rapidly scale up to its full potential and add to the economic momentum in Southern Virginia. The Danville and Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority provided land for the initiative.
“The launch of the AM CoE and the announcement of scale-up potential for ATDM go hand-inhand with IALR’s approach to support the technological and workforce development needs of Industry. We are excited to leverage our new Center for Manufacturing Advancement and work with the Navy and other partners,” said Telly Tucker, President, IALR. “ATDM is one of the strongest examples of what full integration of industry in the training process looks like, by bringing key partners together to be vested in the time-to-talent process and ensuring the unique requirements of shipbuilders and suppliers are achieved quickly to meet the demands of our nation’s defenses.”
“The events we celebrate today – centered on workforce, technology, and the space where those two priorities must meet – are game changing. The scale and urgency needed in these areas is a fundamental differentiator in our Navy’s ability to preserve peace, and when necessary, compete and win,” added RADM Scott Pappano, PEO Strategic Submarines.”
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