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GE Aviation investing $27 million to expand advanced technology efforts in Delaware

GE Aviation plans to invest $27 million and add up to 70 jobs over the next five years at its Newark, Delaware facility. The facility, which currently employs 80, manufactures advanced aircraft engine components made of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).

The planned investment will allow GE to develop a 'Lean Lab' at its Newark operation. Lean Labs have become a staple of GE manufacturing, allowing for collaboration between engineering and manufacturing. The teams work together to demonstrate a component's manufacturing readiness before needing to scale for full rate production. Production technologies for CMC components will be developed and proven out in Newark prior to transitioning to manufacturing facilities for mass production.

Demand for CMC components in jet engines is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade.

“This investment is a testament to GE's commitment to this advanced technology. The Newark team will play a vital role in the next-generation of aircraft engines, and we're proud to be a part of it” said Jeff Wessels, plant leader at Newark.

CMCs are a differentiator in GE's next-generation aircraft engines. These advanced materials are key to achieving higher fuel efficiency, lower emissions and improved environmental performance in aircraft engines by allowing them to run hotter.

GE has committed to incorporating CMCs into the best-selling LEAP jet engine, being developed by CFM International, a joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France. The LEAP engine, which will enter airline service in 2016, will power the new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft. This will mark the first time ever that CMCs will be used in a commercial engine. GE and Safran will continue to look into CMC usage in engine platforms beyond the LEAP engine.

GE Aviation's GE9X engine has been selected by Boeing for its future 777X aircraft program. The GE9X, currently under development, is also expected to feature several CMC components.

“GE Aviation hits many of the targets that we are aiming for, including global reach, new economy jobs and the growth of companies that specialize in products and services at the forefront of innovation,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “This expansion at GE Aviation's Newark plant, and its creation of well-paying jobs, will strengthen our state and local economy.”

“GE Aviation's commitment to Delaware shows that the company values our talented first-class workforce,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “The Lean Lab concept shows that through greater communication and collaboration, the likely result is innovation. I'm proud GE Aviation is making this investment in Delaware.”

"Lean labs are the height of innovation in high-tech manufacturing," U.S. Senator Chris Coons said. "GE's decision to develop a lean lab in Newark adds another chapter to Delaware's long and rich manufacturing history, and by nearly doubling its presence here, GE Aviation is showing its faith in Delaware's talented workforce. It's a smart investment that I'm confident will pay off."

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on May 21, 2013


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