Cornerstone laid for new Safran Composites research center near Paris
Paris, September 7, 2012
Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran, today welcomed to the Le Bouchet site in Itteville, south of Paris, French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, along with local personalities, to lay the cornerstone for the new Safran research center dedicated to composite materials. Spanning some 10,000 square meters (108,000 sq ft), this building represents an investment of 50 million euros and will start operation in mid-2013. Safran Composites will have a workforce of up to 150, including highly-skilled technicians, engineers and doctoral scientists.
Safran has been using organic matrix composites in its products since the 1980s, and will soon pass a strategic milestone. The LEAP engine, the successor to the best-selling CFM56 that will power Airbus and Boeing single-aisle jetliners starting in 2016, will feature composite fan blades.
Because of applications such as this, Safran has established its leadership in composite applications in the aerospace industry. Looking further ahead, to meet the upcoming challenge of aircraft that will cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in half, Safran will greatly increase the use of composite materials and enhance their performance to unprecedented heights.
The Safran Composites research center now under construction will play a decisive role in this approach, by:
- validating the innovative composite technologies already being developed within the Safran group;
- exploring new research areas, such as higher temperature-resistant resins, within the scope of a network including universities, research labs, specialized small businesses and other partners;
- "seeding" these technologies throughout all Safran companies.
The center will be outfitted with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, covering all needs from basic research to parts prototyping.
"This new entity alone embodies the two main pillars of our corporate strategy, continuous innovation and investment in the French science and technology infrastructure, which are more than ever the foundations for our strength," said Safran Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman.
The Le Bouchet site already hosts the Research Center for fellow Group company Herakles, created by the recent merger of Snecma Propulsion Solide (SPS) and SNPE Matériaux Energétiques (SME). Their proximity will facilitate exchanges and synergies between the two research centers, and also allow current resources to be pooled.
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Safran group has close to 60,000 employees and generated sales of 11.7 billion euros in 2011. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.3 billion euros in 2011. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
For more information, www.safran-group.com
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