As an integrated manufacturer and distributor of beryllium alloys, IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (IB:CA) is becoming one of the most trusted names in the rare metals manufacturing industry. Since the company’s inception, they have made a name for themselves manufacturing specialty alloys and advanced materials for the aerospace, automotive and other high performance industries. Yet, there is reason to believe that the best days are yet to come for IBC and their shareholders, as of this week, the company has announced that they have become the first company to ever create castings of beryllium-aluminum alloys. Working directly with Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) , IBC has developed a proprietary process over the last three-and-a-half years that allows for casting of beryllium-aluminum alloys, which are commonly used in aerospace engineering. This advancement could have long-ranging effects throughout various industries…and place IBC at the forefront of a new era for technology and manufacturing.
The Years-Long Quest for a Cost-Effective Casting
A beryllium-aluminum alloy casting has been a long-sought “Holy Grail” of sorts for aerospace engineers. Beryllium has a number of substantial advantages for use in aerospace, automobiles and other technologies. The metal rivals lithium for lightness and steel for its stiffness by weight, and it also boasts fantastic thermo-conductivity, making it highly desirable for many high-tech purposes.
Yet, since beryllium and aluminum have starkly different melting temperatures, beryllium has always posed a severe challenge for castings. Historically, beryllium-aluminum alloys have only been able to be machined, making for components that are often both very expensive and time-consuming.
It’s long been a foregone conclusion that the first company to capitalize on the successfully produced market-ready beryllium-aluminum alloys, would be well-positioned in the industry. Up until now, there has never been such a cost effective means to produce each individual part, but IBC’s revolutionary casting process offers a solution to this challenge resulting in significant optimism among management about IBC’s prospects.“We have the first-to-market advantage, and we intend to capitalize on that first-to-market advantage,” says President, CEO and Director of IBC Anthony Dutton.
For the first time, IBC is able to offer their various clients in the aerospace industry a choice: If they want beryllium components for their drones, satellites, etc., they can receive beryllium castings, or if they prefer, they can stick with their machine components. A company that only requires a small number of components – say five to ten – might be best off sticking with machine components, but for those with more comprehensive needs – say, dozens to thousands of parts – casting could provide significant savings, efficiency and faster delivery times. This allows each client to choose the best, most cost-effective option for their needs.
IBC Further Boosted by their Relationship with Lockheed-Martin
IBC is dedicated to advancing the understanding of materials and process engineering to allow the consumer to benefit by either using the technology directly, or more likely, they’ll benefit by IBC offering manufacturing companies materials that allow for better, cost effective and faster production. The recent news further cements IBC’s reputation as a first-rate provider of advanced alloys, but the company has already garnered much admiration in the industry thanks to their productive relationship with Lockheed Martin. The American aerospace, defense, security and tech giant offered substantial support to IBC throughout the three-and-a-half year beryllium-aluminum alloy development process.
“Lockheed Martin has been a fantastic partner during this process,” says Dutton “They have worked with us to solve both production challenges and technological challenges, and simply put, we couldn’t ask for a better partner to work with. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to build a long-term relationship with Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Fighter Jet and other Lockheed Martin programs.”
Last September, IBC received a purchase order from Lockheed Martin for a couple million dollars to supply cast components for the Electrical Optical Targeting System (EOTS) of their F-35. The first lots of those components have already been delivered, so we’ll soon have quantifiable evidence of the cost-savings provided by these beryllium-aluminum alloys. More specifically, IBC’s clients who opt to use these beryllium-aluminum alloys will find savings in both cost and lead-time.
A Leading Role in the Materials Revolution
Prior to his role as IBC CEO, Dutton had already found a great deal of success as a business executive and investor. He also serves as director of several public and private and resource-focused Canadian companies, so he has a firm understanding of the industry, and he believes we’re on the verge of a “materials revolution.”
“In industrial and manufacturing circles, we’re seeing breakthroughs every day, in terms of processing and in terms of materials,” says Dutton. “Take Gorilla Glass for example. Five years ago, Gorilla Glass didn’t even exist, while today it’s utilized in virtually every commonly sold smartphone – everyone’s walking around with it right in their pocket. That’s just one example of the materials revolution. From automotive technologies to aerospace technologies to sporting goods like carbon-fiber bikes, all of these advances surround us due to a revolution in materials usage and materials manufacturing.”
At a time when many companies receive aerospace industry purchase orders but fail to deliver cost-effective results, it’s difficult to overstate the effects of IBC’s latest achievement. With their connection to global giants like Lockheed Martin and their proven engineering efficacy, don’t be surprised to see IBC continue to build a healthy lead in the industry for years to come.
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