Pratt & Whitney Plans Technology Accelerator, Engine Center Expansion In Florida

Pratt & Whitney plans a North American Technology Accelerator (NATA), and will invest $20M in its West Palm Beach Engine Center, both in Jupiter, FL.

This week, Pratt & Whitney, an RTX business, released details of its North American Technology Accelerator (NATA), a commercial and military aftermarket operations center of excellence based in Jupiter, Florida. The NATA will have dedicated floor space, equipment and resources for the development and industrialization of technology insertion programs that will support the company’s global maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) network.

The accelerator projects in Florida are primarily focused on material restoration and process automation including advanced repairs, digital inspection, adaptive processing, and coating and masking for compressor and fan parts, blades, cases, and more. The benefits of these technologies will reduce cost, material demand, and environmental impact, while decreasing turn times, improving throughput, and delivering value to customers.

Pratt & Whitney West Palm Beach Florida
Employees at the North American Technology Accelerator examine a part during the development of an advanced repair process. (Photo: RTX)

“NATA combines data science with people know-how and state-of-the-art automation to help address customer pain points such as inventory management and part availability, while accelerating our improved repair capabilities and efficiency to better serve our customers,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, vice president, Aftermarket Global Operations at Pratt & Whitney.

“NATA combines data science with people know-how and state-of-the-art automation to help address customer pain points such as inventory management and part availability, while accelerating our improved repair capabilities and efficiency to better serve our customers.”

— Kevin Kirkpatrick, VP, Aftermarket Global Operations, Pratt & Whitney.

Key projects include additive repairs for critical GTF engine components. With this new additive repair technology alone, Pratt & Whitney expects to recover $100 million worth of parts over next five years to support GTF MRO ramp.

NATA complements Pratt & Whitney’s fully operational Singapore Technology Accelerator (STA), which was established in September 2022 with a focus on robotics, advanced inspection, connected factory and shop digital twin. STA has since delivered over 30 innovations which will maximize the productivity in MRO processes.  Both accelerators leverage other RTX research and development expertise to enhance automation, connectivity, analytics and intelligence to benefit aftermarket operations. Combined annual savings of at least $24 million is expected from Pratt & Whitney’s accelerator programs.

NATA and STA are part of Pratt & Whitney’s Industry 4.0 transformation, enabled by its Customer Oriented Results and Excellence (CORE) operating system which is at the foundation of the business’ technology accelerator strategy. CORE provides a common language, toolset, and methodology for delivering on customer commitments. The CORE system assesses and pinpoints critical areas and provides a framework from which to execute.   

In addition to Pratt & Whitney, Arlington, VA-based RTX companies include Collins Aerospace and Raytheon.

Pratt & Whitney Investing $20M In West Palm Beach Engine Center

Pratt & Whitney will invest $20 million to increase the GTF maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capacity of its West Palm Beach Engine Center in Jupiter, FL. The expansion will accommodate a 40% increase in capacity and is expected to be complete by the second half of 2025.

To accommodate the planned growth, the facility will increase its workforce by 25% over the next year and will add critical equipment in areas such as machining, test, clean and warehousing. It will also incorporate transformative technologies developed at the NATA in Florida.

“The expansion at West Palm Beach is the latest example of our global investment to support the GTF fleet,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, VP, Global Aftermarket Operations at Pratt & Whitney. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to support customers and maintain their trust as we carry out the GTF fleet management plan.”

Pratt & Whitney West Palm Beach Florida
Pratt & Whitney’s West Palm Beach facility will increase GTF engine capacity by 40% through 2025. (Photo: RTX)

 

West Palm Beach was transformed into a fully capable GTF MRO engine center in mid-2021. It was the first Pratt & Whitney facility to adopt an automated system that assembles the high-pressure compressor (HPC) rotor and a refined overhead engine handling system. Since implementation, Pratt & Whitney has seen a more than 25% improvement in HPC rotor yield and a 50% reduction in process turnaround time.

In 2023, Pratt & Whitney announced three GTF MRO facility expansions and five shop activations to support the growing GTF fleet. There are currently 16 active GTF MRO engine centers around the world, with another three expected to come online by 2025.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here