Joint Strike Fighter: Component Finish Facility

Joint Strike Fighter: Component Finish Facility

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Client: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Completion Date: 2004

Burns & McDonnell performed facility and site master planning, concept design, construction drawings and general contracting for the 120,000-square-foot Component Finish Facility (CFF). The CFF applies specialized coatings to major components of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The largest of the facility's eight coatings booths is 65 feet long, 40 feet wide and 24 feet high. Coatings are applied to four of the major components of the aircraft and all exterior panels and doors through a highly structured process. The facility team used anticipated production rates and space requirements to design a facility that makes the multistep coating process efficient. Robotic equipment enables precise application of coatings.

The facility also includes environmentally protected access for transporting major component parts, material and fixture storage and handling facilities, and staff support and administrative areas. Access to the assembly plant without exposing component parts to the elements was essential. Exhaust stacks from painting and coating booths are designed to prevent dispersion of effluent into the surrounding facilities’ air intakes.

A new 4,000-ton chilled water plant provides air tempering utilities. The project also included a complete energy recovery system that reduces energy costs as much as 40 percent when compared to similar facilities.

Unique Challenges Conquered

In serving the developing Joint Strike Fighter program, the design and construction structure needed to respond quickly and cost-effectively to late criteria changes. For example, at 80 percent design completion, airflow through all paint booths was changed from 100 feet per minute (fpm) to 200 fpm, doubling the already large infrastructure for the facility. A design solution using energy recover and custom air handlers was developed that provided little impact to the base utility systems. The altered design was completed with no design cost change. Construction was purchased with 100 percent competitive bids with no premium lost for subcontracting change orders.

Value Engineering Proposals & Effectiveness

Throughout design and construction, Burns & McDonnell generated more than $1.2 million in cost savings through value engineering and construction changes. Overall, $1.2 million of additional work was completed without an increase in contract amount.