Rolls-Royce Manufacturing Plant

Rolls-Royce’s Project Condor is a $400 million update of its Indianapolis plant. The overall project is a five-year undertaking to modernize the campus, which includes two plants spread across nearly 400 acres. This update almost did not happen, but the company agreed to move forward after the state and city proposed nearly $40 million in incentives. Rolls-Royce officials say this investment sets the Indianapolis operations up to remain competitive for years to come.

Project Condor is lead by David Mair, a 30-year company employee. The result will be “as close to a new factory built on the same campus as you can get,” Mair said. About half of the 3-million-square-foot campus will be torn down. Other parts of the facilities will get major renovations, including new utilities and machinery. What is truly amazing is that Rolls-Royce is continuing uninterrupted production of military aircraft engines throughout the duration of Project Condor.

Ryan Fireprotection was brought into the project to update and add fire protection systems around the campus. Ryan is working to update three existing manufacturing facilities and the fire pump house. The campus has facilities that date back to World War II and the sprinkler systems date back to the 1960s. Because Rolls-Royce maintained production during the project, seamless fire safety took a lot of preplanning, safety risk assessments, system integrity investigations, and coordination.

Ryan Fireprotection installed 25 wet sprinkler systems in the manufacturing spaces. The data rooms were equipped with two Sapphire Systems and one FM 200 System. The Airplane Engine Test Cell and Control Room was equipped with a double interlock preaction system. They added a dry fire suppression system to the loading dock and installed electric and diesel fire pumps in the existing fire pump shed. Fitting both pumps in the existing structure required a lot creative engineering.

One reason the company was willing to launch such a massive overhaul rather than uproot its operations is that it did not want to lose access to the experienced Indianapolis employees. The modernization work should be complete by the summer of 2020, after which Rolls-Royce will demolish the older parts of its campus.