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Bombardier's Saint-Laurent facility tools up for CSeries aircraft component production

Bombardier recently upgraded more than 9,000 sq. m (100,000 sq. ft.) of its Saint-Laurent facility to support production of major components for its new game-changing CSeries aircraft, scheduled to enter service in 2013. The assembly process will include a fully automated moving line using the latest lean manufacturing principles, and the upgrades include new machinery, equipment and tooling.

Major CSeries aircraft components to be manufactured at the Saint-Laurent plant include the carbon-fibre aft fuselage and cockpit. The cockpit will be mated at the facility with the forward fuselage section made by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) in China.

With a focus of on-time program delivery through advance testing and risk mitigation, Bombardier has capitalized on many years of experience in composites technology in both its Saint-Laurent and Belfast, Northern Ireland facilities. Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) techniques will be used to build the carbon-fibre composite aft fuselage, including the pressure dome. The advanced composite CSeries aircraft wing will be designed and built in Belfast using Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology that has been developed at the facility.

"As soon as our new composite 'clean room' was completed, we immediately began laying up some test articles with our new AFP robot," said Hugues Lessard, Vice President, Saint-Laurent Manufacturing Centre, Bombardier Aerospace. "Bombardier's adaptation of AFP technology has also benefited from the largest collaborative aircraft structures demonstration project initiated by Canada's National Research Council to advance AFP use in the aerospace industry."

The Production Development team at the Saint-Laurent plant is also responsible for designing and installing the tooling for the new CSeries aircraft final assembly plant in Mirabel, 40 km north of Montréal. In addition to components made at Bombardier facilities, the all-new CSeries airliner will incorporate components from partners and suppliers located around the world.

The Saint-Laurent plant employs more than 3,000 people and is currently the largest of Bombardier's facilities in the Montréal area. The plant, which was the original Canadair site, produces major structural components and parts for Bombardier's Challenger and Global business jets, CRJ NextGen and Q400 NextGen airliners, and Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft. Bombardier's purchase of Canadair 25 years ago heralded the company's entry into the aerospace industry.

The CSeries aircraft, which is optimized for the single-aisle 100- to 149-seat market, will deliver the lowest operating costs in its class, exceptional operational flexibility, widebody comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard.

Press release issued by Bombardier Aerospace on March 11, 2011


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