March 24, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Huntsville's Teledyne Brown Unveils Advanced Turbine Manufacturing Center

Dave "Rocky" Henry, with Teledyne Brown works on a turbine part in the new Teledyne Advanced Turbine Manufacturing Center facility at Teledyne Brown in Huntsville, Ala. (The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

HUNTSVILLE  -- Long recognized as one of the area's, if not the nation's, top engineering companies, Teledyne Brown Engineering is continuing to expand - into manufacturing.

Today the company will unveil its Advanced Turbine Manufacturing Center in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. The center will house machines to manufacture turbine engine parts for the Harpoon and Jassim missiles.

The facility puts Teledyne Brown in a new market to design and manufacture components for tactical missiles. The company already manufactures space hardware and nuclear components as it moves toward components for space launch systems.

"We've been focused on engineered systems for the past few years - from design to delivery," said Teledyne Brown President/CEO Rex Geveden. "We do the full life cycle of those products and there aren't that many competitors in our size."

Teledyne Technologies Chairman Robert Mehrabian made the decision to move the center - which was called the Teledyne Turbine Engines Advanced Manufacturing Cell - from Mobile to the manufacturing plant on Sparkman Drive.

Employees here refurbished the facility, including building special foundations for the equipment.

"We knew what it entailed," Geveden said of bringing the equipment here. "Moving a world-class center is a serious undertaking.

"We knew what we were in for."

The new area takes up 25,000 square feet and will house several machines, including lathes and a grinder. Geveden said the parts that are manufactured here will be shipped to Teledyne Turbine's plant in Toledo for final assembly and testing before they're delivered to their customers, including other countries such as Saudi Arabia.
"Because of our emphasis on manufacturing, we have emerged as a center of excellence across Teledyne," Geveden said. "Teledyne Turbine Engines is now grouped with Teledyne Brown and Teledyne Engineering Systems."

And Geveden will oversee all those operations.

Since about 2007, Geveden said the company's manufacturing space has grown from 100,000 square feet with plans to grow to 600,000 square feet and employment has gone from 50 to 60 people to about 150 now out of 1,300 employees total, with plans to reach about 300 in manufacturing.

"We've started focusing heavily on manufacturing over the last 3 1/2 years," he said. "It's an aggressive move and is paying dividends."

One of the dividends came in 2009 when Teledyne was named Alabama's Large Manufacturer of the Year by The Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama.

With the increase in manufacturing, there will be a need for skilled workers, he said. And they are right in Teledyne's backyard.

"You're seeing community colleges and junior colleges involved in manufacturing courses (because of) the sophistication of the equipment," Geveden said. "Alabama has a considerable manufacturing base.

"We know how to recruit in this area."

Overall, Geveden sees his company's melding the engineering with the manufacturing as a "natural."

"Somebody's got to do the making in the long run," he said.

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