WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Robins Air Force Base is opening a new state of the art metal finishing facility, which is not only safer for employees, but better for the environment.
"Anytime you get something new, this is like Christmas for us in the middle of March," Brigadier General Cedric George, the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex Commander, said.
It's the best gift the 573rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron could ask for. This brand new 98,000 square foot facility is filled with state of the art equipment, robots, and automated lines.
"This facility allows us to do the work we still have to do in terms of stripping our parts, treating our parts, doing inspections on our parts," George said.
Workers use chemicals to put anti-corrosive finishes on aircraft parts. Right now, they are doing their job in an old, outdated facility. The squadron's director says the new shop will reduce workers' exposure to harmful chemicals.
"Instead of working over open tanks, they'll be working from control panels, so just a huge improvement in safety and quality of life for our workforce," Bob Reynolds, the 573rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron director, said.
"When those doors close behind me, the workforce is on this side and the heat treat is going on on that side, so its safer for the workforce," George said.
The employees can't wait to move into the new building.
"Safety [is] going to be 100% better, environmental will be 100%, water supply, everything is going to be way better than what we have now," Danny Bell, an electroplater, said.
And a better shop means better equipment for the men and women serving our country.
"It allows us to more effectively and efficiently deliver our war fighting capability to our war fighters," George said.
The facility cost $67 million to build. It has been in construction since September 2010.
The next step is to test the equipment and set up the chemicals. Base leaders expect the first line to be up and running by the end of the year.