GE - Aviation Selects IA Vacuum Furnace for Brazing Engine Parts
Rochester, NY, August 1, 2006 GE - Aviation, the leading global producer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, recently purchased eleven Induction Atmospheres (IA) VF-20 Vacuum Furnaces for brazing & heat treating turbine engine parts. The furnaces are for GE manufacturing facilities in Greenville SC, Hookset NH, and Evendale OH.
"We're highly focused on lean manufacturing”, said David Budinger, Senior Engineer for GE - Aviation. “With the VF-20 as a key component of our production cell, we've been able to convert to small batch flow resulting in a 96% reduction in turn around time.” “This new technology works so well the payback on the capital expense was less than two years and we are currently leveraging the technology throughout the supply chain.”
Like most aerospace component manufacturers, GE - Aviation previously used large batch vacuum furnaces for superalloy brazing, heat treating and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coating. But the problems associated with the batch furnaces large size, lack of quality control and poor efficiency led them to search for a better way to meet lean, continuous flow manufacturing requirements. For example, the batch furnaces require significant WIP- in some cases several days worth - prior to having enough parts to justify running the large furnace. Additionally IA’s furnace is over 85% energy efficient vs. about 50% for standard industrial vacuum furnaces.
GE - Aviation found that the VF-20 reaches operating temperature in minutes instead of hours. And with advanced induction heating technology, individual or small batches of engine parts can be heated with accuracy and consistency. The compact 5'x5' footprint of the IA system allows GE to install the units in work cells on the manufacturing floor, further improving production flow. The new furnaces have the flexibility to heat a variety of part sizes and shapes, including “orphans” from other heating processes.
Founded in 2002, Induction Atmospheres is an independently-owned system integrator with extensive laboratory facilities, engineering expertise, full in-house machining and manufacturing capabilities. Clients such as General Electric, NASA, General Motors, Boston Scientific, Lufthansa Technik and Siemens have purchased IA turnkey heating systems for industrial brazing, welding, hardening and general-purpose induction heating applications. The company is headquartered in Rochester NY. For more information, please call 585.368.2120 or visit www.inductionatmospheres.com
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