ABB Nuclear Fuels Division Manufacturing Facility Renovation


Highlights:

  • Adaptive reuse of an outdated warehouse building
  • Expansion and reorganization of the manufacturing process
  • Co-location of engineering with the manufacturing operation
  • Implemented strategies to reduce energy costs
  • Robotic laser welding process
  • Specialty ceiling and lighting

Owner: ABB Nuclear Fuels Division
Type: Manufacturing Facility Renovation
Location: Windsor, CT
Area: 65,000 Square Feet
Completion: 2001

The Project:

This project was driven by ABB’s desire to co-locate their Fuel Engineering with their Fuel Assembly Manufacturing operation and to move the Manufacturing operation out of the building that it had occupied for over 30 years.   ABB produced all of the non-nuclear components of a nuclear fuel assembly at this facility in Windsor, Connecticut.  The planning for this project allowed the process engineers at ABB to look at their manufacturing operation with fresh eyes.  The previous facility was very tight on space and did not allow for flexibility or change within the operation.  This relocation allowed for a much needed realignment of the manufacturing process as well as the introduction of new equipment and new ideas.  The “Grid”, which holds the fuel rods in the fuel assembly, is a critical component that must be fabricated within strict tolerances.   The planning for this project included planning for the introduction of a robot welding system to assemble grids.  This innovation increased the quality of the grid assembly process and decreased the time involved in assembling each grid. 

The Fuel Engineering and management offices occupy approximately 30,000 square feet of the 65,000 square foot project.   The co-location of the Engineering team with Manufacturing allowed the engineers immediate access to the production floor for the first time and allowed for much improved communication between the engineers and the production staff.

Note:  ABB Nuclear was purchased by Westinghouse Nuclear