Brown surveys build progress

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shown is the site work of Brown Precision Inc. in Rivercane. | Submitted photo

Shown is the site work of Brown Precision Inc. in Rivercane. | Submitted photo

Brown Precision Inc. officials said the site prep for its new manufacturing facility in the Rivercane Development is going well.

Dan Brown, president and CEO of Brown Precision, said the drought conditions have proven beneficial for the site preparation.

“It’s going wonderful,” Brown said. “It really has been good. I hope it holds out.”

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Brown Precision is a Huntsville-based precision machining manufacturer that focuses on the aerospace and medical industries. The company is family owned and manufactures high-quality, complex components, both large and small, from helicopter and aircraft components to artificial human joints. Brown’s clients include GKN Aerospace, Bell, PPG Aerospace, Smith & Nephew and GE Aviation.

In September, site preparation began for the future plant, which will be some 30,000 square feet. The site is located on a parcel of land some 23 acres in the development, which is next to Interstate 65.

Brown, who was in Atmore last week to survey the site preparation, said the company wanted a large chunk of land because it plans on adding additional buildings.

Construction of the plant is expected to last until next September. For the first six months to a year, there will be one shift at the plant, Brown said.

“We’re bringing one guy from second shift, a level two machine guy,” Brown said. “We’ve got to hire a person with chemical experience for a platting line.

“Everyone else will be hired from here,” he said. “We’ll start slow.”

In order to lay the foundation for the Atmore plant, construction contractors had to lay a large bed of concrete.

Brown described it like a large swimming pool.

Richard Maxwell, of Maxwell Construction, said red clay sits below the concrete, and it’s strong enough to hold the large machines that will be installed.

Brown said the plating facility at the plant is a new addition to the company.

Brown said his company makes a giant titanium panel for a passport 20 engine.

“It’s the stuff that encloses the engine,” he said. “The underside is a titanium panel, like a curve. Right now, because the design was an after thought, we’re wittalling it out of a 9,000 pound piece.”

When asked how long it takes to cut 9,000 pounds of titanium, Brown machinist Evan Paulish said quite slowly.

Brown said the number of medical parts the company makes is around the 70s.

“We probably do on the bone plate, for trauma surgery, 10,000 a year,” he said. “Medical is 27 percent total of our manufacturing output. Aerospace is the rest.

“We’d like to expand on the power generation side,” he said, adding that the company wants to prepare parts for paper mills, power plants and for wind power.