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Aerojet Rocketdyne Test Chamber Extension
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Aerojet Rocketdyne Test Chamber Extension
Aerojet Rocketdyne Test Chamber Extension

PROJECT: Aerojet Rocketdyne Test Chamber Extension
PROJECT TYPE: Fabrication – Heavy Plate, Carbon Steel
CLIENT: Aerojet Rocketdyne

AEROJET ROCKETDYNE TEST CHAMBER EXTENSION

When you work with a rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer, you know the fabrication work will be a part of something cutting-edge. You also know the work will need to be accurately executed to exact specifications. This was the case with GSM Industrial’s partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne, a world-class manufacturer of advanced propulsion and energetic systems for companies like NASA and the US. Department of Defense.

Aerojet Rocketdyne needed a fabrication partner to fabricate a test chamber extension on a very tight schedule, with only a 6-8 week lead time after another fabrication vendor could not meet the required delivery date. GSM Industrial’s experienced team of fabricators and project managers stepped in and committed to delivering the test chamber extension on time and for a competitive bid.

CHALLENGES

On-time delivery was the client’s top priority, challenging the GSM team to expedite the project whenever possible. There were additional challenges to this custom fabrication project, however, GSM Industrial’s team and their project management processes kept the project moving forward, even when unavoidable challenges cropped up.

The Aerojet Rocketdyne test chamber extension was fabricated with a heavy plate (3” thick) of carbon steel that needed to be sub arc welded and machined. This project required bringing in and coordinating work with third parties and subcontractors, creating the opportunity for added delays. The project’s timeline spanned hunting season and major holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s – complicating personnel coordination and requiring expedited services to stay on schedule.

The final product was large: 10.5’ high and 13.5’ in diameter with 3/8” wall construction and weighing 35,000 pounds. This quick-turn project also included logistics for oversize load shipping.

PROCESS

GSM Industrial’s extensive heavy fabrication and project management experience made the team ideally suited for tackling these challenges. Experience meant they knew the questions to ask Aerojet Rocketdyne at the start of the project, foreseeing many challenges before they arose. The team also worked to understand Aerojet Rocketdyne’s needs before getting started so they could develop an appropriate plan and timeline. Once the project kicked off, GSM Industrial’s project management team provided daily communication, discovering and providing solutions for challenges met along the way.

And, perhaps the most important element to the successful completion of this project is GSM employees’ desire to go above and beyond to meet the customer’s needs. When challenges arose – as they will with any project – GSM Industrial’s team jumped into action. Machining delays due to flatness and additional delays from subcontractors could have delayed the project past the agreed delivery date. But GSM Industrial’s fabrication shop employees went above and beyond by presenting and implementing design changes that helped to accelerate the project at critical junctures. Each solution met the project’s needs and delivered on GSM Industrial’s commitment to quality and customer service.

CERTIFICATIONS

Aerojet Rocketdyne works on mission-critical projects, and this project needed to meet the same expectations of quality. The test chamber extension needed to pass vacuum testing to be successful. GSM Industrial’s in-house certified inspectors and quality control processes ensured the fabrication project met all testing requirements.

RESULTS

GSM Industrial delivered the test chamber extension on time, meeting all certification and budget requirements, even in the face of timeline and design challenges. The Aerojet Rocketdyne team was highly satisfied with GSM Industrial’s fabrication work and project management skills.

“The team at GSM was excellent to work with and communicated very well with clear expectations and direction. We couldn’t be happier with their efforts.”

Rick Shaklovitz, Facilities Manager

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