French aerospace components supplier Safran revealed its sixth plant in Queretaro has started operations, although an inauguration is not expected until February 2018. The company invested US$ 74 million to manufacture blades for the next-generation LEAP (Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion) engine, which is developed by CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and GE.
The company recruited 400 workers for its sixth operation, increasing its total workforce in Queretaro to 2,000 strong.
"The new plant is already working, we are going to inaugurate it in February, it is already producing and we are very happy, it is an absolutely strategic part of the new engine," President of Safran Mexico, Daniel Parfait, said to El Economista.
The Queretaro facility is the third plant where parts are produced for this engine model, the other two are located in France (Commercy) and the United States (Rochester). Is a type of engine with a 50% reduction in emissions, coupled with a silent, robust, but also light engine, Parfait said.
The blades are made of composite materials and resin using a technology called 3D-RTM (Resin Transfer Molding). The procedure, developed by Safran and textile company Albany, reduces the weight of the engine and increases the durability of the blade.
According to information from the company, the goal is to achieve a production of more than 20,000 blades by 2021. According to the company, there’s currently 15,000 orders for the LEAP engine to fulfill.