Pratt & Whitney Ramps Up GTF MRO in West Palm Beach
Pratt & Whitney has finished transforming its West Palm Beach Engine Center into a full-scale MRO shop for the GTF engine family following a $45 million investment made in June 2019. It used the funding to support growth of the site’s capacity and capability to perform GTF engine assembly, disassembly and test operations.
West Palm Beach is P&W’s first MRO facility to adopt an automated system that assembles the high-pressure compressor rotor assembly with minimal variation and higher yield, which it says results in streamlined turn times and improved reliability of outputs. The site also has a refined overhead engine handling system, which P&W says results in more efficient, cost-effective processes with improvements to safety and ergonomics.
“All of the equipment and systems were designed with adaptability in mind,” says Mary Anne Cannon, P&W’s vice president, West Palm Beach site development and operations. “We took what we learned when we were an OEM shop and made refinements to ensure cost savings, efficiency, reduced turn times as well as capability and EH&S [environment, health and safety] improvements along the way.”
The OEM first began converting the West Palm Beach facility from a PW1100G-JM engine production site to provide GTF overhaul capability in 2018 and inducted its first GTF engine for MRO in October of that year. Early on it operated out of a temporary space before transforming an additional 100,000 ft.2 into a high capacity, full capability MRO shop for the engine family.
According to Anthony Brodeur, general manager, West Palm Beach MRO, Pratt & Whitney, the opening of the GTF MRO engine center marks “the culmination of this unique journey we’d taken, from building infrastructure while operating out of a temporary location, to overcoming challenges brought on by the pandemic, to now having a shop in front of us that we collectively created.” He adds: “We are no longer a temporary relief shop. We are proud to be a full, heavy maintenance capable MRO facility that’s in a great position to better serve our customers for years to come.”
The engine OEM has made more than $250 in capital investments in the West Palm Beach facility since 2000 to support production of the GTF and F135 engines. It also provides support for the GTF through its global network of Authorized Maintenance Centers, its Eagle Services Asia joint venture in Singapore, and from its North American facilities in Georgia and Texas.