Major upgrade coming to P&WC’s Longueuil plant
Oct. 28, 2013, Longueuil, Que. - Accompanied by Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, Quebec government representatives, members of the aerospace industry and academic/research sectors and many employees, John Saabas, President, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), today announced investments totalling $275 million over five years, including the creation of a World-Class Centre of Excellence for Intelligent Manufacturing in Longueuil.
By Carey Fredericks
At the heart of these investments is the World-Class Centre of Excellence for Intelligent Manufacturing, an $80-million initiative. The Centre of Excellence will come to fruition with the development and implementation of three new intelligent production lines featuring cutting-edge equipment and technology. The production lines will be dedicated to manufacturing highly complex key components for the new-generation family of PurePower(R) engines recently launched by Pratt & Whitney.
"The announcement of this project is great news, as it will propel P&WC into the future," said Mr. Saabas. "P&WC is a global company whose roots have been firmly planted in Canada for 85 years. 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. 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."
Benoit Beaudoin, Vice President, Operations, P&WC, 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. Equipped with automation, closed-loop process control and high-precision machining technologies, the World-Class Centre of Excellence for Intelligent Manufacturing will propel us into a new era in manufacturing."
The introduction of the three intelligent production lines will require extensive upgrading of P&WC's Longueuil plant, which is set to begin in the next few months, with the objective of being fully operational in 2015.
In addition to the intelligent cells, the investments announced today will help support further development of manufacturing, assembly, tests and information technology, enabling the company to continue improving productivity, innovation and technological capability at its Quebec facilities.
These investments will lead to the creation of 90 new permanent jobs and maintain 166 existing jobs in Quebec.
The government of Quebec will contribute $19 million to support these future investments.
These investments and the announcement regarding the launch of the World-Class Centre of Excellence for Intelligent Manufacturing come as P&WC celebrates a milestone year in 2013, which marks the 85th anniversary of the company and 50 years since the delivery of the first PT6 engine – the flagship product that changed the face of aviation.