Innovation Cooperative

Customer Focused Innovation

Collaboration in a structured environment establishes a framework for innovation. Curtiss-Wright’s Innovation Cooperative focuses on Safety, Reliability, and Operational Excellence in power generating facilities. Innovation initiatives often stall or struggle to get traction. The Curtiss-Wright Innovation Cooperative utilizes lean methodology to discover new products and services by witnessing and analyzing existing work processes. We leverage rapid prototyping principles to accelerate the problem solving process and identify effective solutions. Innovation Cooperatives typically result in multiple innovations that can be quickly developed and implemented.

An Innovation Cooperative is an agreement wherein Curtiss-Wright Innovation members meet with key stakeholders to discuss specific aspects of plant operations that may be “pinch points” (i.e., areas of difficulty or barriers to performance or optimization). Innovation Cooperative meetings involve stakeholders across a number of disciplines including reactor services, maintenance, engineering, IT, and radiation protection (RP).

Innovation can enhance productivity and efficiency. Expand the tabs below to learn about Curtiss-Wright innovations in the following plant performance areas, or view our Innovation Cooperative brochure here:

Condition Based Maintenance

Condition based maintenance involves monitoring equipment conditions and asset health for early detection of problems or potential issues. This approach allows plants to implement optimized, predictive maintenance scheduling for efficient use of resources and reduced downtime. Key outcomes include:
  • Preventive maintenance optimization
  • Predictive based monitoring and analytics
  • Reduction or elimination of plant walk downs
  • Automated tracking, trending, and reporting of plant data
Innovation-Driven Solution:
SealPRO™ is a valve-packing database and fluid leak management program for leak identification, tracking and trending, and configuration management. SealPRO interfaces with existing technologies, minimizing entry time and maximizing operational insight through simple to track, easy to access data. This data can be shared across a fleet, between sites, or even directly with field workers, allowing users to transmit vital information where it is needed through a secure, fast network.

Sensing, Monitoring, and Control

Accurate, readily accessible data is critical for effective decision management and achievement of plant performance outcomes. Key outcomes include:
  • Data integration
  • Wireless sensing
  • Advanced anomaly detection
  • Information display and analysis
  • Reduction or elimination of plant walk downs
Innovation-Driven Solution:
StressWave is a condition monitoring system for critical plant equipment that focuses on the two ultimate root causes of equipment failure - friction and impacts. Unlike many traditional vibration-based methods, StressWave does not require the surface to be vibrating, but rather “listens” for the much higher frequency pulses inside structures generated by friction and impact events. StressWave filters out and ignores the relatively low frequency and audible frequencies that are not indicative of failures.

Asset Management and Optimization

Effective asset management involves multiple resources working together to compile accurate information in real time for optimized maintenance and life-cycle outcomes. Key outcomes include:
  • Supply chain cost savings
  • Knowledge base retention
  • Improved reactivity management
  • Inventory control and optimization
  • Reduction or elimination of plant walk downs
Innovation-Driven Solution:
Seer is an inventory matching application that extends resource sourcing and sharing capabilities between sites and across industries. Taking advantage of the extensive item inventory stocked across multiple users, Seer allows users to cross-reference the stock of any company utilizing its software, removing the guesswork and man hours of multiple RAPID searches and comparing part numbers.

Outage and Inspections

Also known as planned maintenance and refueling, plant outages enable plants to make critical adjustments and take appropriate actions to sustain uptime. Improved tooling, equipment, and inspection techniques support safe execution of planned maintenance to achieve critical path outcomes. Key outcomes include:
  • Task efficiency
  • Critical path reduction
  • Improved personnel safety
  • Reduction in radiation exposure
  • Simplified or eliminated inspections
Innovation-Driven Solution:
The Temporary Reactor Head (TRH) is designed to seal the RPV from the refueling cavity after the RPV head is removed. With the TRH installed, the refueling cavity may remain flooded while the reactor vessel coolant level is lowered below the RPV flange level. This combination of controlled water levels allows maintenance activities that require the refueling cavity water level to be full to be performed concurrently with reactor maintenance activities that require the reactor coolant to be below the RPV flange level.

Equipment Design

Advances in manufacturing, digitization, and design collaboration provide flexibility for expanded application and maintenance needs to achieve even broader design performance outcomes. Key outcomes include:
  • Improved personnel safety
  • Maintenance and reliability
  • Reduction in radiation exposure
  • Application of emerging digital technologies
Innovation-Driven Solution:
The HydraNut® bolt tensioning system consists of the HydraNut, hydraulic pumping unit and hoses. Replacing the original hex nut, the HydraNut is a self-contained single tensioning unit that remains on the flange during operation. The HydraNut tensioning method eliminates the risk of galling the stud, nut, or flange - dramatically reducing the time for disassembly and reassembly. Worker safety and equipment reliability increases by eliminating heavy slugging wrenches, torque wrenches, and tensioners. The tensioning or loading on each stud is completed by the HydraNut system hydraulics, requiring minimal work from the technicians thus reducing worker fatigue.

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