Rolls-Royce is a global leader in power and propulsion systems, providing solutions for civil aerospace, defence, marine, nuclear and industrial applications. The company is also famous for its luxury cars, which are synonymous with elegance, performance and craftsmanship. But behind these impressive products lies a remarkable production process that requires a level of cleanliness and precision that surpasses even the operating room.
In this article, we will explore why and how Rolls-Royce maintains such high standards of cleanliness and efficiency in its production facilities. We will also look at some of the curious information and facts about Rolls-Royce’s factory of the future, where it develops components for cleaner, quieter and more efficient jet engines.
Why is cleanliness so important for Rolls-Royce?
Cleanliness is essential for Rolls-Royce because it affects the quality, safety and performance of its products. Any dust, dirt or contamination can cause defects, damage or failure in the complex and sensitive components that Rolls-Royce produces. For example, a single speck of dust can ruin a turbine blade that spins at supersonic speeds and withstands temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Celsius. A tiny scratch or dent can compromise the integrity and aerodynamics of a fan blade that generates thrust for a jet engine. A microscopic particle can clog a fuel injector that delivers precise amounts of fuel to a combustion chamber.
Therefore, Rolls-Royce has to ensure that its production facilities are as clean as possible, using advanced technologies and methods to prevent, detect and remove any contamination. The company also has to train its employees to follow strict protocols and procedures to maintain hygiene and avoid contamination. In addition, Rolls-Royce has to comply with various regulations and standards that govern the quality and cleanliness of its products and processes.
How does Rolls-Royce achieve such high levels of cleanliness?
Rolls-Royce achieves such high levels of cleanliness by using a combination of techniques and tools that include:
- Clean rooms: These are specially designed rooms that have controlled temperature, humidity, pressure and airflow to prevent any dust or particles from entering or circulating. The air in these rooms is filtered through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that can capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. The employees who work in these rooms have to wear protective suits, gloves, masks and shoes to avoid bringing any contamination from outside. The clean rooms are also regularly cleaned and monitored for any signs of contamination.
- Ultrasonic cleaning: This is a process that uses high-frequency sound waves to create tiny bubbles in a liquid solution that implode on contact with the surface of an object. The implosion creates a powerful suction force that dislodges any dirt or debris from the object. This method is effective for cleaning intricate parts that have hard-to-reach areas or crevices.
- Laser cleaning: This is a process that uses a focused beam of light to vaporize any dirt or contaminants from the surface of an object. The laser beam can be adjusted to different wavelengths, intensities and durations to suit different materials and applications. This method is fast, precise and environmentally friendly, as it does not use any chemicals or generate any waste.
- Electrostatic cleaning: This is a process that uses an electric charge to attract any dust or particles from the surface of an object. The object is either positively or negatively charged by applying a voltage or rubbing it with a cloth. Then, it is exposed to an opposite charge that attracts any dust or particles from it. This method is useful for cleaning large surfaces or objects that are difficult to move or access.
What are some curious information about Rolls-Royce’s factory of the future?
Rolls-Royce’s factory of the future is not only one of the cleanest but also one of the most advanced and innovative in the world. Here are some curious information about it:
- It is located in Bristol, UK, where Rolls-Royce has been operating since 1950.
- It covers an area of 150,000 square metres, equivalent to 21 football pitches.
- It employs over 4,000 people who work on various aspects of engine design, development, testing and manufacturing.