Parts manufacturing is in Warren Boley, Jr.’s blood. He grew up in a family business that was a machine shop, which produced components for heavy equipment for the oil and gas, and mining industries. It was a key supplier to Caterpillar, manufacturing more than 3,000 different engine parts for the business. “I come from a background that has given me an appreciation for what it means to be a critical supply-chain partner,” he says.
“When you’ve got that mutual dependence, it’s got to be a win-win. My success has to be their success, and vice-versa.”
Warren took this perspective with him when he left to join Pratt & Whitney, where he worked for 27 years. When he left to join Aerojet as its President, he took Pratt & Whitney’s rocket division with him and transformed it into new business, Aerojet Rocketdyne. He had only been there for 3 years when Norska Titanium came knocking.
“This was very exciting,” Warren says with great enthusiasm. “It was like being in a Silicon Valley-style start-up in aerospace — so lots of appeal. I was involved in the infancy of additive manufacturing at Pratt, and its adolescence at Aerojet Rocketdyne; and the head-scratching problem has always been the transition to production. It was very good for prototyping, but what I found at Norsk Titanium was a technology that was 100 times faster. What took me 2 weeks to do at Aerojet I could do in 2 hours here. So the path to production was now much clearer. The dilemma of making one part every 2 weeks was working out how many pieces of equipment you would need if you were trying to make fifty a month for a customer. But with this new technology came the ability to make one part every 2 hours, and I could see a true path to industrial-scale production.”