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Pratt & Whitney's innovative horizontal assembly line completes first engines

After 90 years of building world-class engines, Pratt & Whitney has accomplished another first by building its first PurePower® engine on its new automated horizontal assembly lines in Middletown, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

This is a significant milestone for the engine provider as the company introduces a technologically and ergonomically improved method to build its next-generation commercial products.

Pratt & Whitney introduced the overhead-automated horizontal moving assembly lines for jet engines to prepare for production of its popular-selling PurePower engine family, which has garnered more than 6,300 orders, including options. The innovative design of the assembly line will offer higher efficiency manufacturing and allow Pratt & Whitney to meet its production ramp needs.

"Our customers embraced the PurePower engine, and presented Pratt & Whitney with an interesting challenge – how to ensure we are ready to more than double engine production to keep up with customer demand," said Joe Sylvestro, Pratt & Whitney vice president of Manufacturing Operations. "The horizontal assembly line is a lean and more efficient way to build engines. Pratt & Whitney continues to advance manufacturing methods, investing significantly in our global manufacturing network, and partnering to prepare for the upcoming production ramp."

The horizontal assembly line also boasts ergonomic benefits for the assembly teams working on the engines. The mechanic can adjust the engine up and down to their ideal work height, and can rotate the engine to help with difficult to reach areas. The new line is also safer because ladders and platforms have been fully eliminated, and there is no perching under the engines, bending, stooping and climbing.

"This horizontal assembly system has both vertical lift and rotation capability," said Tom Mayes, general manager, Engine Centers and Compression Module Centers. "It allows the assembly mechanic a new innovative way to work on the engine, but will also allow teams to automate the line which can adjust the rate of output to meet customer demand."

Pratt & Whitney has also installed a horizontal assembly line in the Mirabel Aerospace Center, Quebec, Canada.

Press release issued by Pratt & Whitney Large Commercial Engines on April 2, 2015


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Pratt & Whitney Large Commercial Engines Turbofan Engines


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