Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, yesterday inaugurated a new facility in Querétaro, Mexico, spanning more than 10,000 square meters (108,000 sq ft): SAMES Rep (Snecma America Engine Service) and dedicated to the repair of CFM56 engine parts. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Francisco Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of ProMexico and Francisco Dominguez, Governor of the State of Querétaro. During his remarks at the inauguration Philippe Petitcolin also announced the construction of a third Safran/Albany plant, in Querétaro, to produce composite parts for the new LEAP engine, the successor to the CFM56.
Inauguration of SAMES Rep
SAMES Rep is Safran's tenth plant in Mexico, and was created to address the need for a repair facility serving the American market. By providing local repair of high-tech engine parts which were previously replaced (high-pressure turbine rings and supports, low-pressure turbine guide vanes), this plant will help Safran maintain the competitiveness of its repair business and also consolidate its presence in this market. The plant started operations in February 2015. To keep pace with expected growth, the plant will increase its workforce from 75 employees today to nearly 150 following production ramp-up.
Safran/Albany plant to be built in Querétaro
Safran has decided to build a third composites plant in conjunction with Albany, this time in Mexico, because of the record order book for the new LEAP engine (over 10,000 on order, even before its entry into service, scheduled in a few months) and because of the rise in production rates requested by aircraft manufacturers, especially Boeing for the 737 MAX. The new plant will be built along the same lines as the two existing Safran/Albany plants, in Rochester, New Hampshire in the United States (inaugurated in March 2014) and Commercy, eastern France (inaugurated in November 2014).
Locating this new plant in Querétaro will enhance the efficiency of the global supply chain for the LEAP engine. Parts produced here are intended for the American market (on the Boeing 737 MAX, powered by LEAP engines exclusively), while the Commercy plant will primarily make parts for engines powering Airbus jetliners, mainly in Europe. This latest plant will capitalize on its location near Snecma Mexico, as well as Albany's production plant in Cuautitlan (State of Mexico).
The plant will start producing fan blades made of 3D woven composites at the end of 2017. Production volumes will rise sharply the following year, reaching an annual rate of over 20,000 blades in 2021 To meet this objective, the plant will hire nearly 500 employees.
"The inauguration of this new plant in Mexico, and the upcoming construction of a third Safran/Albany facility, in Queretaro, clearly show this country's importance in Safran's international development strategy," said Philippe Petitcolin. "Safran is the largest investor in Mexico's aerospace industry and its leading employer, with nearly 6,000 employees. Because of the dynamic Mexican economy, coupled with a highly qualified workforce, we can provide closer support for our airline customers in the Americas and better meet their expectations in this fiercely competitive market."