The GE Aviation project is a single-story manufacturing facility located in Lafayette, Indiana. It consists of 218,000 SF of production and logistics space, and a combined 73,000 SF of office and support space, provided at the main floor level and a mezzanine level. An outlying 10,500 SF Contractor Induction Center was included as well.
The GE Aviation manufacturing facility is utilized for the production of large jet engines. In lieu of a traditional floor-mounted assembly line, the jet engines are transported from station to station by means of a complex crane system hung from above. The production area consists of a horizontal assembly area (where the engines are turned on their sides) and a vertical assembly area (where the engines are turned up on their ends). The horizontal assembly area has a horizontal gantry crane system that keeps the engines suspended as they move throughout this phase of production. The vertical assembly area has an interlock crane system that interlocks multiple cranes so as to lift and move the jet engines from station to station.
Because of the extreme sensitivity of the process, the cranes (and hence the roof structure) were designed for stringent deflection requirements, which were far less than typical building deflections. In addition to supporting the weight of the cranes and jet engines, the roof structure also had to be designed to resist transient dynamic and horizontal loading from the crane system. 80’ x 80’ bays were provided for the roof structure in order to maximize future flexibility for the process. In order to support the two crane systems and meet the stringent deflection requirements, LBYD devised a system of 10’-0” deep steel trusses and truss girders. The trusses were designed to support cranes running in both the north-south and the east-west directions.