Sciaky enters U.S. Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Agreement with Lockheed Martin to further expand its Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing capabilities

Sciaky, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that provides advanced welding systems and services, has entered a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Agreement with the Aeronautics business area of global security giant Lockheed Martin.

With assistance from the DoD Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, Sciaky, a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries (PSI), has developed an innovative manufacturing process to build or repair metal parts called Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing, which combines additive manufacturing (AM) principles, computer-aided design (CAD) and electron beam welding technology. Starting with a 3D model from a CAD program, Sciaky’s fully-articulated, moving electron beam gun deposits metal, layer by layer, until the part is ready for finish machining. Depending on the part being manufactured, deposition rates can range from 15 to 40 pounds of metal per hour. To date, it stands as the only commercially-available, large-scale, fully-programmable means of achieving near-net shape parts.

The DoD and the manufacturing industry have identified Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing technology for repair and discrete part production as a “game changer,” meaning it could redefine and advance the current state-of-the-art in aerospace manufacturing.

Under the Mentor-Protégé Agreement, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will help Sciaky expand the manufacturing capacity and management infrastructure to deliver affordable, high quality, innovative titanium raw material pre-forms in quantities that will support future DoD and prime contractor needs. The initial focus of this agreement will be on manufacturing titanium structural components for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft program.

“While the early focus is going to be F-35, we ultimately plan to implement Electron Beam Direct Manufacturing technology across the breadth of our aircraft product lines to improve affordability and lead-time for titanium structures,” said Brian Rosenberger, Affordability Lead for Improvements & Derivatives at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Established in 1939, Sciaky has delivered over 450 Electron Beam Welding Systems and currently staffs 55 employees. Their 140,000 square foot facility is well equipped for research and development, design engineering, computer hardware and software development, manufacturing and testing of welding systems.

“Partnering with Sciaky aligns with our company focus on performance, relevance, and affordability. They bring innovation and creativity and an emphasis on cost, schedule and quality – essential elements of meeting our customers’ requirements,” said Tom Simmons, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Morehouse College, a historically black college/university, will support the agreement through its Entrepreneurial Center in Atlanta, Ga., with training, mentoring and consultancy to Sciaky in Enterprise/Manufacturing Resource Planning. In addition, the University of Texas at El Paso will provide Quality Systems process training to Sciaky as part of the agreement.

The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, established in 1991, assists small businesses (protégés) in competing for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.

“We are honored to be partnered with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force in this exciting Mentor Protégé collaboration. The scope of this agreement will enable all parties to improve their respective value streams by improving supply chain efficiency and deploying cutting edge technology to support efficient defense manufacturing,” said Mike Riesen, general manager of Sciaky.

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