RCBI upgrades manufacturing technology

RCBI is expanding technological and training capabilities with equipment upgrades to its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington and South Charleston.

Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is one of the most popular manufacturing technologies available for leased used at RCBI Huntington. Now clients in a variety of industries, from aerospace to mining, have access to a brand-new Mitsubishi EDM unit that is not only faster and more efficient but has a larger work envelope and more taper capacity to cut at greater angles. EDMs use pulses of electricity to cut and sculpt highly accurate, complex parts from electrically conductive materials such as metal.

The EDM also will be used to train CNC machinists through RCBI’s career skills, fast-track and customized training programs. It replaces an older, slower and less efficient machine. RCBI purchased the Mitsubishi through a partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, part of a U.S. Department of Defense initiative called America’s Cutting Edge – ACE to ensure a strong national defense by developing a highly skilled manufacturing workforce.

New 3DP Technology
RCBI has been at the forefront of 3D-printing technology for nearly 20 years, offering an array of printers that produce parts in plastics, resins and even metals. RCBI’s Fortus 950mc 3D printer in South Charleston is one of the largest – if not the largest – 3D printers in West Virginia, with a build area of 36”x24”x36”. Technicians just completed a $30,000-plus overhaul and upgrade of the 950, RCBI’s most heavily used commercial-grade printer.

The Fortus 950 is particularly popular with companies in the automotive and energy sectors as a go-to way to produce parts that are high-strength and withstand high temperatures, especially items such as fasteners, jigs, tooling and assembly fixtures. It is capable of printing with a variety of polymers, including super-strong ULTEM. After the upgrade, the machine also will print with Nylon 12 carbon fiber. The material is extremely strong and stiff, making it ideal for producing tools, prototypes and production parts. In some instances, it’s a suitable substitute for metals because of its light weight, rigidity and strength.

“Both the new EDM and the 3D printer upgrade expands our capabilities to better serve industry,” said Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director. “The 950 is a workhorse that often operates night and day to meet the pressing needs of some of West Virginia’s leading manufacturers.
RCBI is committed to remaining at the forefront of technological advances,” Scarbro said. “This ensures that manufacturers in West Virginia and beyond have access to tools and expertise to innovate and grow, and it enables us to develop the highly skilled workforce manufacturers require to compete successfully in a 21st century global economy.

To learn more about the full line of technology available at RCBI, visit https://www.rcbi.org/industry/manufacturing-services/equipment/ or contact Eddie Webb, director of manufacturing services, at or 304.720.7738.

October 27, 2022

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