With sales of $9 billion and employment of 40,000 people in 97 worldwide manufacturing and service sites, everything is “writ large” at Honeywell Aerospace. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Honeywell’s Propulsion Systems Enterprise (PSE) has more than 4,000 employees worldwide in facilities in Anniston, Alabama; Greer, South Carolina; Waterford, Ireland; Olomouc, Czech Republic; Suzhou and Nanjing, China; and Yeovil, UK.
A look at Honeywell Engines reveals about two thousand gages that must be regularly calibrated, with accurate records of those calibrations maintained. In addition, gage links must be made to alignment procedures, operating instructions, and B/P information.
The complexity of such a large system of measurement systems analysis presents a tall order to those who must keep track of it all. According to Derek Simpson, Associate Metrology Engineer at the Ireland plant, GAGEpack from PQ Systems, Inc. is up to the task.
The company, registered with ISO 9001 and AS 9100, is emphatic about its quality, and promises that every function at Honeywell approaches improvement with the same logical method:
- Define the customer critical parameters
- Measure how the process performs
- Analyze the causes of problems
- Improve the process to reduce defects and variation
- Control the process to ensure continued, improved performance
This commitment to improvement is supported by GAGEpack use in the Engines Systems and Services facility, where it is used to record calibration data and results. Gage maintenance records, a key to quality, are provided by GAGEpack, which also offers a way to link to other critical functions as well as pictorial representations that support easy identification. Barcode scanning is used for booking in and out Outside Vendor gages or measurements.
Derek Simpson and his team appreciate the customizable features of GAGEpack, as well as the barcode scanning feature. “The reports system is fully customizable for different areas of our plant,” he says. The company is moving toward a paperless system, and Derek is confident that GAGEpack will save time by incorporating all of the results data.
GAGEpack screens give information about each gage, with menus for gage events, due dates for calibration, calibration steps, vendors, user-defined fields, and even images of the gages.
Honeywell’s PSE designs and manufactures turbofan, turboprop, and turboshaft propulsion engines for a variety of commercial and military applications. Turbofan engines in the 3,000 to 7,000 pound thrust range provide power for business aviation and regional airline aircraft. Helicopter applications such as the CH-47 Chinook and UH-1H Huey are powered by 650 to 4500 shaft horsepower provided by Honeywell turboshaft engines.
This engine is among products designed by PSE.
In addition, Honeywell’s products power the M1-A1 Abrams tank with a new armored vehicle engine in development. PSE is a partner in several joint ventures such as the International Turbine Engine Corporation, the Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company, and with General Electric for the CFE738 engine. Honeywell has delivered over 65,000 Honeywell propulsion systems to the market.
In addition to state-of-the art facilities, Honeywell employees are equipped with Six Sigma training and tools that they apply in developing, producing and supporting Honeywell products. Although Six Sigma is well known as a measure of quality and excellence, Honeywell is utilizing “Six Sigma Plus” methodology, tools and measures to advance continuous improvement to a new level of excellence.
The bottom line for Honeywell Engines is represented in the customers served by its products. Its efforts to maintain high quality in those products are ongoing and diverse. GAGEpack ensures the quality of the measurement system and produces good data—key components of Honeywell’s improvement efforts.