SHERIDAN — Ramaco Carbon, LLC, Tuesday announced a production partnership agreement with Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3-D manufacturing company.
Under the agreement, Ramaco Carbon will produce a variety of products and component parts for third parties using Carbon’s 3-D printers.
These components will be manufactured at Ramaco’s Wyoming iPark industrial facility outside of Sheridan, construction of which has not started.
Ramaco Carbon CEO and chairman Randy Atkins said his company is finalizing initial construction and permit plans, with a hope to begin construction in the summer of 2018. Atkins said Ramaco Carbon would begin its 3-D printing production operations in temporary facilities located in Sheridan prior to the completion of the initial iPark building.
According to a press release from Ramaco, the company expects to announce some of the first products to be produced for Carbon soon.
Carbon’s 3-D printing works at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science. Its technology delivers a process that uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with exceptional mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish.
Ramaco Carbon intends to create a series of carbon-based industrial and manufacturing facilities at its integrated facilities including a coal mine (Brook Mine), research facility (iCAM) and manufacturing facility (iPark). The permitting process for the coal mine, though, has been delayed. The state denied a mining permit to the Brook Mine after the Environmental Quality Council conducted hearings and ruled in September that Ramaco’s plans for the mine didn’t offer enough environmental protections. Ramaco has since appealed the EQC and Department of Environmental Quality decisions in district court.
Atkins said the products for Carbon will initially be produced using resin feedstock provided by Carbon.
“We will be working to ultimately replace these with resins made from coal from the Brook mine,” Atkins said. “Intellectual property developed from this work would be applicable to other thermal coals.”
The Ramaco Carbon leader also said the initial manufacturing isn’t contingent on the permit for the Brook Mine being approved.
“However, we would review permanent location of our advanced manufacturing operations and the jobs they would create should mine approval ultimately not be secured,” Atkins said.
Ramaco Carbon leaders expect to announce both the company’s initial production schedule and the first product line soon. The company is aiming for production launch late in the first quarter of 2018.
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Ramaco, our first production partner in Wyoming,” said Dana McCallum, head of production partnerships at Carbon. “Carbon and Ramaco are committed to helping companies develop high performing, cost effective products using Carbon’s technology and materials. The Wyoming iPark and iCAM is a growing research campus and will be a great place for companies to come together in the industrial manufacturing industry.”