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The Smart Trolley: assembling faster than ever before


Safran Nacelles developed this trolley simplifying aircraft propulsion system (nacelle and engine) integration. With this Smart Trolley built by Excent(1) an operation that usually takes a sizeable crew 4 hours to complete now only takes 4 operators 5 minutes. And you can watch them do it at the Paris Air Show at 10:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm every day (Static display area A9).


The Smart Trolley was custom-engineered to workshop crews’ specifications, and specifically designed to support A320neo LEAP-1A nacelle production ramp-up. This wheel-mounted system swivels 45° in any direction, floats on an air cushion, and can hold up to 9 tonnes. It can be used from the podding phase – the first step in the in-plant integration process – to the final phase, when the propulsion system is fitted under the Airbus A320neo’s wing, on the aircraft’s final assembly line(2).

Serge Rière, who heads integration operations at Safran Nacelles and is a Master Black Belt, says that “this breakthrough is one step closer to the Factory of the Future, and fully in line with the Lean-Sigma continuous improvement drive, which is optimising our processes and enhancing our operational excellence.” He adds that “the Smart Trolley substantially improves on-the-job ergonomics and cuts a number of assembly steps, limiting the number of handling operations.”

The first A320neo propulsion system, which was delivered to Airbus on April 15 last, was fitted onto the aircraft using the Smart Trolley. The goal, in time, is to stretch this trolley concept to other applications (landing gears or underwing work for airlines, for example).

Watch the crew fitting an engine in record time live at Excent’s stand in the static display area (A9), daily at 10:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm.


(1) Excent is one of Safran’s partners. It has for example worked on the pulse line, the automated line assembling LEAP engines.

(2) Safran Nacelles developed the nacelle, and is tasked with fitting it onto the LEAP-1A engine and delivering the complete propulsion system to Airbus.