Safran and Albany have inaugurated a third joint manufacturing plant to make composite parts for the Leap aircraft engine. The facility is located in Querétaro, Mexico.
Safran and its partner Albany inaugurated a third joint manufacturing plant on 21st February to make composite parts for the Leap aircraft engine. The facility is located in Querétaro, Mexico.
The two partners jointly developed the 3D RTM (resin transfer molding) process used to produce fan blades and cases for the Leap engine.
The plant is similar to, and complements, the two existing production centres in Rochester, New Hampshire (United States), and Commercy (eastern France), inaugurated in 2014. It involved a total investment of about $100m and delivered its first parts in October 2017. The facility will primarily produce 3D woven composite fan blades for the Leap engine from CFM International.
As the Leap programme develops, this plant will also make guide vanes. The investment needed to add this capability will start this year, with delivery of the first parts expected in January 2019.
The new joint Safran/Albany plant in Mexico currently has nearly 230 employees, operating in a facility with 31,000 square meters of floorspace. The total workforce is expected to reach nearly 600 by 2021, to handle annual production of more than 20,000 composite blades and 31,000 outlet guide vanes.
Located in the Querétaro Aerospace Park, this newest plant benefits from its proximity to other facilities, including Safran Aircraft Engines Mexico and Albany's Machine Clothing plant in Cautitlan.
The construction of the new Safran/Albany plant in Mexico was announced in 2016 to support the ramp-up in Leap production, which should reach a peak rate of more than 2,000 engines per year in 2020.