You could call Gustavo Valencia and his team of inspectors "aviation detectives." Each day they come to work, their daily investigations have one common purpose … perfection.
That attainable goal is at the heart of the sparkling new West Palm Beach Engine Center Quality Clinic. Following the ACE assessment process, the new facility, which opened in June, centers on precision, ensuring that each and every part that goes on a Pratt & Whitney engine is flawless.
"Quality is important to me because as a company member, I want to be able to go home and go to sleep thinking a good quality product left our facility, and there's no worries about failure or something that's going to come back to us and say, 'Hey, you guys did something wrong,'" said Valencia from the new clinic.
As a commercial or military engine goes through assembly, and a part is discovered to have what's called a non-conformance, inspectors begin an investigation using an array of advanced tools and gadgets that would make Batman jealous.
"The main reason why quality is important is safety," said inspector Shawn Steullet, "we want the pilot, the people inside the aircraft to be safe. That's our main goal here."
Steullet is part of a large, well-trained team who determine what may or may not need to be fixed, and whether a vendor will need to expedite a new part.
"One of the big things that I'm proud of is we came up with glass walls. So this way, no matter where anybody is working in the Engine Center, you can always see into the Quality Clinic so you can understand when issues arise, who's working the issues and what we're doing to solve them," said Melanie Moore, quality manager for Production and Test.
The emphasis of quality is mirrored across the Pratt & Whitney landscape, as every operation houses a clinic to ensure customers get the level of product they have come to expect.
"We want to make sure we are putting out the right thing in the right way," said inspector Byron Price.
Detective work is never easy, but the job of the West Palm Beach site is that the outcome is always positive. Gustavo Valencia will support that statement. After all, it's hard to beat a job that, at its core, is based on perfection.
"When my team leaves here, I'm comfortable to leave this place, knowing we have delivered a good Pratt & Whitney quality product," Valencia said.