The skyline at Pratt & Whitney's HMI facility in upstate New York looked dramatically different for a few days in April.
Workers installed an atomization tower at the Clayville, New York, site, as part of an expansion that will increase production of crucial material. The company invested $7 million at HMI, much of it to install the new tower. Pratt & Whitney has invested $1 billion in its manufacturing facilities worldwide.
"HMI produces nickel super alloy powder," HMI General Manager Mark Hewko said. "This material is used in critical rotating components in the engine."
The new tower enables added capacity at the facility. The continuing expansion also means additional employees.
"With this tower, we'll be able to double our output, which is critical in meeting our customer demand quite well into the future," Hewko said.
Installing the 58,000-pound tower - 65 feet tall, 13 feet in diameter - required specialized equipment. A 600-ton crane arrived on 17 tractor trailers, and took three days to assemble. Once the crane was assembled, the tower was carefully lifted into place.