As our nation's defense priorities develop to counter increasingly advanced adversaries and threats, so too does the demand for new advanced manufacturing capabilities. Today, Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS), a Dynetics subsidiary, operates the largest electron-beam welding system in the Western Hemisphere that enables our partners in the aerospace, defense and commercial industries to manufacture with speed, scale and quality like never before.
Our team of experts collaborates throughout the design, prototyping and manufacturing process to create easily manufacturable designs to save our customers time and money. Our collocated facilities provide us with the ability to rapidly tackle tough technical challenges from beginning to end. And now, they're expanding. We have added 21,000 square feet of classified manufacturing space, 2,300 square feet of top secret, secured work bay space, and classified pre- and post-weld machining areas.
The addition of the 22-feet-long, 22-feet-wide and 22-feet-high system aids the Dynetics welding facility in establishing north Alabama as the U.S. leader in advanced electron-beam welding for aerospace, defense and commercial sectors. Capable of supporting government and commercial programs at both the unclassified and classified levels, the system will support the Virginia and Columbia class submarine hardware and other programs of national importance. Division-wide welding capabilities to include Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), which support programs such as the U.S. Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapons (LRHW).
"This system allows us to cater to the precision machining and welding needs of our country," said Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics senior vice president of weapons technology and manufacturing. "Having access to these additional electron-beam capabilities is an incredible addition to our facility and company."
There are several advantages of electron-beam welding:
· Weld penetration is quick, resulting in minimal heat input and distortion to the material.
· No contamination or oxidation. Welding is performed in a high vacuum chamber and uses no filler material. This allows the weld to remain as pure as possible.
· The electron-beam welding process can weld most types of material, providing great flexibility.
"This system can seamlessly weld material as thin as foil, or up to 4-inches thick, all in one pass. Additionally, electron-beam welding allows for a significant reduction in weld time and labor by over 95 percent," said Blake Gifford, director of Manufacturing at Dynetics Technical Solutions. "This makes it a consistent driver for scheduling improvement. A welding facility would not be complete without Computer Numerical Controlled, or CNC, machining capabilities. Dynetics has over 50 CNC machining centers in our facility. These machines in our machine shop allow us to fabricate and fine-tune our manufactured material for successful welds."
With this new welding facility in place, Dynetics is positioned as the United States leader in advanced electron beam welding for the aerospace and defense sectors.
To learn more, our recent video on the updated facility highlights our new capabilities.