Mécafi inaugurates new plant to make guide vanes for Safran aircraft engines
Châtellerault, December 8, 2016
Mécafi (Atmec group) today inaugurated its new plant dedicated to the production of guide vanes for the new-generation LEAP commercial jet engine from CFM International – the 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, Sylvain Accorsini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mécafi, and Olivier Andriès, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Aircraft Engines.
The new plant, named Eolia, spans some 8,700 square meters (93,960 sq ft) and represents a 20 million euro investment for Mécafi. It will also lead to the creation of more than 200 jobs.
The LEAP engine, which entered commercial service in August 2016, has been selected to power the new-generation single-aisle jets from the world's leading plane-makers: Airbus for the A320neo, Boeing for the 737 MAX, and Comac for the C919. Successor to the CFM56, the best selling engine in the history of aviation, the LEAP has also enjoyed tremendous business success, with more than 11,500 orders and commitments recorded to date.
CFM International must now tackle an unprecedented industrial challenge, by turning out more than 2,000 engines per year starting in 2020. This production ramp-up has already started in fact, since by the end of the year, CFM will have built more than 100 LEAP engines on assembly lines at Safran and GE. For Safran Aircraft Engines and its 150 suppliers on the LEAP program, this production volume offers an opportunity to develop innovative industrial facilities reflecting the top standards of the global aerospace industry.
"We are delighted to contribute to the excellence of the French aerospace industry through this new crown jewel, the LEAP engine," said Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran Aircraft Engines. "Its sales success has already generated more than 50 projects for new plants or plant extensions at our suppliers, nearly half in France. Mécafi is a very telling example, with their new state-of-the-art plant. That also proves that French suppliers are fully capable of maintaining production in our country, with world-class capabilities."
Safran Aircraft Engines and Mécafi have established a long-standing partnership, underpinning the development of advanced guide vanes. These essential engine parts are used to direct the airflow from the fan in front of the engine. The major industrial innovation from these two partners is the development of a unique procedure, enabling them to make vanes combining aerodynamic and structural functions. These parts are not only lighter than previous-generation vanes, but also offer greater strength and thermal resistance.
"For the last three years we have invested alongside Safran Aircraft Engines to develop a process that would consolidate the vane's two functions, and also optimize the high-volume production process," said Sylvain Accorsini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mécafi. "One of the keys to this development was our investment in latest-generation machining centers, plus the incorporation of special processes. After years of development, we are now working on the production ramp-up, by making people a central part of this ‘factory of the future'."
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of 17.4 billion euros in 2015. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index, as well as the Euro Stoxx 50 European index.
Safran Aircraft Engines designs, produces, sells, alone or in partnership, commercial and military aircraft engines offering world-class performance, reliability and environmental-friendliness. Through CFM International*, Safran Aircraft Engines is the world's leading supplier of engines for short and medium-haul commercial jets.
*CFM is a 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE