Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) outlined new investments worth $275 million over five years for its operations in Longueuil, Quebec, including plans to create a “world-class center of excellence for intelligent manufacturing” there. Longueuil is P&WC’s original and primary manufacturing center.
The main element of the investment is an $80-million effort to develop and implement three new “intelligent” production lines involving “cutting-edge equipment and technology.”
P&WC is an affiliate of Pratt & Whitney, and both are subsidiaries of United Technologies Corp., a defense manufacturer. P&WC produces turbine engines for smaller aircraft, such as the PW8000 and PW1000G, the latter being a high-bypass turbofan engine installed in regional jets like the Bombardier C-Series, Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and Embraer E-Jets.
Pratt & Whitney also has a revamp effort underway at its manufacturing center in Middletown, Conn.
The new production lines at Longueuil will manufacture critical components for the new P&W PurePower engines. As explained by P&W, the PW1700G and PW1900G deliver thrusts from 15,000 to 22,000 pounds, and in combination with aerodynamically advanced wings, “fly-by-wire” flight controls and other new systems, Pratt & Whitney boasts they will result in double-digit improvements in fuel burn, maintenance costs, emissions, and external noise.
"The announcement of this project is great news, as it will propel P&WC into the future," according to John Saabas, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada.
Benoit Beaudoin, P&WC vice president, Operations, explained: "The unique properties of the new materials used in key parts for our next generation of engines, as well as the extreme conditions to which these materials are subjected, inspired us to design new, fully integrated, ultra-efficient production lines.
The lines will include extensive automation, closed-loop process control, and high-precision machining technologies. Installing these new capabilities will require extensive improvements to P&WC's Longueuil plant. That work is set to begin in the coming months, and the revamped plant will be fully operational in 2015.
"These investments once again demonstrate our long-standing approach to innovation and productivity, as well as our ongoing efforts to improve our technologies and modernize our infrastructure,” Saabas continued. “It underscores P&WC's commitment to being a leader in the design, manufacture and maintenance of high-performance, highly dependable engines while pursuing a sustainable development approach across our operations."
The investments at Longueuil also will fund other improvements in manufacturing, assembly, testing, and information technology.
In total, the investments will help to create 90 new permanent jobs and maintain 166 existing jobs in Quebec, P&WC stated
The government of Quebec will contribute $19 million to the project.