Author­ity board OKs agree­ments, $ 1M grant

Fo­cus is ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing hub

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Business - By Mark Belko

A day af­ter land­ing Wabtec Corp. as an an­chor ten­ant, Pitts­burgh In­ter­na­tional Air­port of­fi­cials are look­ing to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing for their am­bi­tious Neigh­bor­hood 91 de­vel­op­ment.

Al­legheny County Air­port Author­ity board mem­bers ap­proved two agree­ments with the Buncher Co. on Fri­day to erect a 3,000- square- foot build­ing for pow­der stor­age at the pro­posed site for ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing just west of the mid­field ter­mi­nal.

Board mem­bers also ac­cepted a $ 1 mil­lion grant from the Richard King Mel­lon Foun­da­tion to be used to po­si­tion the re­gion to be­come a U. S. hub for such work.

The 3,000- square- foot build­ing is the sec­ond Buncher is con­struct­ing at the site. It also has started work on a 45,000square- foot build­ing on the 195acre cam­pus.

On Thurs­day, Wabtec had an­nounced it would be tak­ing more than 11,000 square feet in that build­ing, where it plans to em­ploy the lat­est in ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy to pro­duce state- of- the- art light­weight parts for tran­sit rail cus­tomers.

In gen­eral, ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing refers to 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy that uses soft­ware to build parts by adding ma­te­ri­als layer by layer, rather than tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing that carves or shapes ma­te­ri­als into the re­quired form.

Board mem­bers on Fri­day ap­proved a 25- year ground lease with Buncher for the 3,000square- foot struc­ture, which will be built on less than an acre of land. Terms were not dis­closed.

The author­ity will lease the build­ing from Buncher, the mas­ter de­vel­oper of the site, at a rate of $ 72,646 an­nu­ally for 25 years to store pow­der. Pow­der pro­duc­tion is part of the ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process.

In ad­di­tion, the board au­tho­rized an agree­ment to lease a 3D printer from Buncher for about $ 500,000 an­nu­ally for seven years. Af­ter that, the author­ity will take own­er­ship of the printer.

The author­ity, in turn, will lease the printer to Wabtec for 10 years from the time the North Shore- based rail tech­nol­ogy com­pany moves into Neigh­bor­hood 91.

Christina Cas­so­tis, the author­ity’s CEO, said she views

the 3D printer as part of the in­fra­struc­ture pack­age needed to bring ten­ants to the site. She added it was no dif­fer­ent than clear­ing the land or pro­vid­ing util­i­ties.

The author­ity wants to make sure ten­ants have “quick and im­me­di­ate ac­cess to the prin­ters they need to pro­duce the ma­te­ri­als they want to pro­duce” at Neigh­bor­hood 91.

Ms. Cas­so­tis said the $ 1 mil­lion grant will help “turbo charge” the re­cruit­ment of ten­ants, to aid in work­force de­vel­op­ment and to po­si­tion the re­gion to be the leader in ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing.

In ad­di­tion to Wabtec,

Le­high County- based Aren­cibia has signed a let­ter of in­tent with the author­ity to build a 10,000- square- foot plant to sup­ply and re­cy­cle ar­gon and other gases used in the ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process.

Pam Pan­chak/ Post- Gazette

Con­struc­tion work pro­ceeds Thurs­day in Moon on the foun­da­tion for Neigh­bor­hood 91, the first de­vel­op­ment of the Pitts­burgh Air­port In­no­va­tion Cam­pus. Neigh­bor­hood 91 will con­dense and con­nect com­po­nents of the ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing and 3D print­ing sup­ply chain in one lo­ca­tion.

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