On April 6th, 2020, i3 held a virtual ribbon cutting for their new advanced manufacturing facility capable of producing some of the nation’s most complex aerospace components and systems. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually with key i3 personnel.
In October 2019, i3 began the journey of establishing the state-of-the-art 20,000 sq. ft manufacturing and rapid prototyping capability to help solve the U.S. Government’s concerns over supply chain constraints. While designing the facility, i3 kept the need to machine hypersonic Thermal Protection System (TPS) technologies and advanced composite materials at the forefront with a focus on refractory composites such as Carbon-Carbon, structural insulators, ceramics, and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). The manufacturing capability also includes the ability to machine lower temperature materials such as plastics, fiberglass, carbon epoxy, and metallics.
i3 incorporated multiple smart manufacturing techniques, including: automated adaptive manufacturing, 3D optical measurement, various 3-axis & 5-axis Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling centers, CNC lathes with live tooling, 5-axis waterjet cutting, industrial stitching, and quality assurance/control. i3 will have an industrial and information security team on site to ensure all contract requirements are accurately incorporated into closed-area operations.
“This state-of-the-art facility with its advanced manufacturing capability represents the proverbial crossroads of i3’s long history of mission success and a new path of innovative solutions”, said Mike Wicks, CEO of i3.
i3’s engineering and test teams have been on the leading edge of hypersonic weapons development performing system engineering and design, high fidelity modeling and simulation, TPS assembly and integration, as well as ground and flight test supporting Army, Navy, and MDA activities to provide a national capability to counter our near peer adversaries. Over the past two decades, these TPS development capabilities significantly contributed to multiple hypersonic flight test successes that have proven a hypersonic weapon capability is achievable. Now i3’s ability to support a critical, national imperative will be further enhanced with the added capability of a turn-key, agile solution for producing hardware in support of the hypersonics mission.
Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, i3 is a company with over 650 employees specializing in software engineering, systems integration, hypersonics development, information technology, virtual training solutions, and training support services.