The Watervliet Arsenal (WVA), a Department of the Army owned and operated manufacturing facility, is the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the United States and has been the home of the U.S. Army’s designated design and manufacture of large caliber cannon for over 120 years. Today, the 143-acre site represents a $1 billion dollar manufacturing complex consisting of 72 buildings, covering over 2.2 million square feet of space. The Arsenal generates annual sales of $130 million for the fabrication of large bore cannon, mortars, associated spare components and a variety of other military products.
Co-located on the site is Benet Laboratories, a Department of the Army Research and Development agency.
Benet specializes in structural and dynamic analysis, weapon design, simulated test firing, material analysis, dynamic load testing, 3D component modeling and field support of large caliber armament systems. Benet is recognized as a world-wide Center for Excellence in the design and development of precision ordinance components. Three hundred scientists, engineers and support personnel make up Benet’s staff.
Located on the facility is also a fully equipped Manufacturing and Technology Center. This hub is home to over 660 machines that may be used to create the most sophisticated part configurations.
The manufacturing facilities at WVA are able to satisfy both high-volume production as well as limited unit prototype fabrication of small and large prismatic parts. Basic machining operations include turning, boring, milling, grinding and honing. There is also capability for specialized manufacturing services, such as tool and die refurbishing and manufacture and gage manufacturing services. The full range of machining services can be adapted for both metals and composites. Other services that can be accommodated include: metal fabrication, welding, specialized machining, forging, painting/packaging, composite filament winding and thermal stress relieving.
WVA and select tenant companies are able to provide a complete range of capabilities for finishing manufactured products including fabrication, heat treatment, chrome plating, surface coating, part preservation and packaging.
WVA’s Rotary Forge Complex
WVA’s Rotary Forge Complex consists of pre-heat furnaces, a rotary forge, horizontal temper and quench equipment and hot/cold cutoff machinery to accommodate a variety of metals and component configurations. The pre-heat, induction coil furnaces are capable of bringing preformed steel ingots to approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, incorporating automated steel transfer carts and with specially pre-fabricated hammers forge the steel over a mandrel into a near net shape gun barrel in about 15 minutes, after reaching temperature. The capacity for tubes is 21 3/4” maximum diameter, reduced to 4” minimum diameter, from 72” long minimum to a maximum size of 393” (or 32 ¾”) long.
Technical & Professional Support
As an integral part of a highly qualified workforce, WVA also offers a wide range of support services available on site including manufacturing engineering, environmental and safety services, project management, and professional consulting, to list just a few.