HSMC Green Factory Team's Efforts Result in Dramatic Process Improvements
Recent efforts by the Green Factory Team in Hot Section Module Center (HSMC) North in East Hartford, Connecticut, are going a long way in helping Pratt & Whitney reach its aggressive 2025 Sustainability Goals, and impacting the company favorably in other ways as well.
HSMC North produces a variety of engine parts, including fan blades, and nozzle and combustor components. The Green Factory Team, which was a 2015 Pratt & Whitney Leadership Awards finalist, involved both salaried and hourly employees using a variety of ACE tools to improve manufacturing results.
"The team's results were very impressive," said Joe Presing, manufacturing engineering manager, HSMC North. "They not only supported our 2025 Sustainability Goals, but also product quality, our financials and overall process improvement."
Team initiatives included moving three significant processes (parts cleaning, paint and plasma spray); eliminating dated and hazardous chemical milling processes; and combining two HSMC supply cribs.
The benefits realized included a 95,000-square-foot reduction in factory floor space (saving more than $2.1 million annually); the conservation of 2 million gallons of water; a reduced part travel distance of 5,000 miles per month; reduced waste processing charge and energy consumption improvements; and improved parts flow and pulled-through processes in the cells.
"Combining the production non-product tooling crib and the Machine Tool Services spare parts crib resulted in a more efficient non-product supply crib," said Rusty Gower, manager, Machine Tool Services.
"By moving all of our processes, we eliminated the half mile in round-trip travel time," Presing added. "And by going to a closed-loop, filtration cleaning system for our parts, we significantly lessened our overall environmental footprint."
Abi Colon, a laser operator in the area, added, "It's become a much more efficient system by combining the laser drilling and washing processes. In the past, after laser drilling the part, I would have to ship it a half mile away to be cleaned. That added a significant amount of time scheduling the shipping and the washing and introducing the chance of damaging the parts during shipping or handling. I literally have to move only 10 feet between operations now."
"This was an impressive team effort that led to significant sustainability and financial results, as well as process improvement," Presing said. "As a result, we're able to work smarter and more efficiently in providing our family of quality products."