Bell has revealed its plans to build a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing technology center in Fort Worth, Texas for testing and developing technologies and processes for its future aircraft.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) will provide facilities and equipment to support the development of manufacturing of rotor and drive systems, critical infrastructure and final assembly.
Technology developed at the Dallas Fort Worth site, which Bell has operated at since 1951, will be used to make aircraft it is currently developing for the US military, such as the V-280 Valor tilt rotor, as well as civilian rotorcraft, such as the Nexus eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.
“The MTC is the next step in successfully deploying new manufacturing technologies and processes into Bell’s future factories,” said Glenn Isbell, vice president, rapid prototyping and manufacturing innovation. “These future factories working together with our teammates and suppliers, will be designed to enable high-quality, high-rate production of the Bell V-280 Valor, Bell 360 Invictus and other future aircraft.”
According to Bell, the MTC will be monitored and controlled by a network of IT, Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity systems that manage the inflow and outflow of materials, as well as the movement of activity throughout the factory. By deploying a networked software infrastructure, the MTC will produce a digital twin of itself that gives everyone a common operating picture of the building, the equipment and the processes.