RTI International Metals, celebrated today the first production of certified commercial aerospace titanium product at its new, $135 million forging, grinding and hot rolling manufacturing facility in Martinsville, VA.
In addition to RTI executives, key executives of Airbus, which will use much of the factory’s titanium output to produce the company’s passenger jets, and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell attended a ceremony to mark this milestone in the plant’s operations.
“We are grateful for our partnership with RTI and Airbus, and RTI’s commitment to the economic development of the Martinsville community”
.The startup of commercial titanium production at Martinsville follows more than 10 months of certification testing to meet Airbus’s stringent initial qualification requirements. It is an important milestone for RTI and represents continued strengthening of the business connection between RTI and Airbus, one of the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacturers.
“The Martinsville plant is a key new addition to RTI’s ability to meet the expanding titanium needs of Airbus. RTI is the largest North American titanium supplier to Airbus and its parent company, EADS, and this new facility adds an additional link in RTI’s ability to meet their needs across the entire supply chain,” said Dawne Hickton, Vice Chair, President and CEO of RTI.
EADS and Airbus Comment
“EADS, Airbus and RTI’s long-term partnership was expanded with the construction of the Martinsville facility. This new plant offers us greater material support due to RTI’s increased capacity to produce titanium raw material not only for our A350 XWB aircraft, but to an extended number of EADS and Airbus supply chain partners,” said Eric Zanin, Material Procurement Senior Vice President for EADS and Airbus.
Virginia Governor Comment
“We are grateful for our partnership with RTI and Airbus, and RTI’s commitment to the economic development of the Martinsville community,” said Governor McDonnell. “RTI’s $135 million new facility and the employment of more than 25 residents from the community is a true testament of a successful partnership between the private and public sector.”
At full capacity, the forging facility can produce up to 14 million pounds of product annually. The RTI plant adds more than 25 manufacturing jobs to the local economy of Martinsville, Henry County and surrounding communities. That number is expected to grow with expansion of the plant’s operations. Further qualifications for the grinding and rolling mill processes will take place in the future. When qualifications are finished, RTI expects the facility to deliver titanium for use in all EADS and Airbus programs.
Dignitaries attending the inaugural forging included Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell; Congressmen Robert Hurt and Morgan Griffith; and EADS and Airbus executives Oliver Dreier, Metallic, Forging and Castings Procurement Vice President; Vanesa Puerta Hernandez, Procurement Officer Titanium U.S. Sourcing, and David Williams, Airbus Americas’ Vice President Procurement.
RTI International Metals executives included Dawne Hickton, Vice Chair, President and CEO; Harry Klein, General Manager, European Distribution; Chad Whalen, Vice President, General Counsel and Director-Government Relations; and Blaine Salvador, Sr. Director, Titanium Operations.
Ms. Hickton thanked state and local Virginia officials for their cooperation in helping to bring the facility to the region.