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GE Aviation breaks ground on $100 million jet engine assembly factory in Indiana

GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engines and aircraft systems, hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking today for a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility in Lafayette, Indiana.

The new 225,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette will assemble the new LEAP engine of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France. CFM has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 7,500 LEAP jet engines – and it does not enter service until 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft for airlines worldwide.

Launched in 2008, the LEAP is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, GE could begin hiring at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015. Within five years, the plant's workforce is expected to exceed 200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as the engine's hot section (compressor, combustor, high-pressure turbine).

Final assembly of the LEAP engine at the Lafayette facility will involve using components and sub-assemblies from GE and Snecma operations and from their suppliers around the world. The LEAP engine will also be assembled at GE's existing engine assembly plant in Durham, North Carolina.

The Lafayette facility will operate a highly advanced assembly line incorporating several new technologies, including automated vision inspection systems and radio frequency parts management to easily spot parts on the shop floor. GE worked closely with the state of Indiana to secure the Lafayette location. The state of Indiana, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the city of Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County have provided technical support and incentives to ensure a smooth and successful start-up. To prepare for the new factory, GE will work with Ivy Tech at Lafayette and Purdue University for skills and training support.

The plant will be minutes from Purdue University in West Lafayette, which has a long history of collaboration with GE Aviation and its parent, General Electric Co. GE employs more than 1,200 Purdue University alumni, including more than 400 at GE Aviation. Over the past five years, GE has financed more than $2.5 million in research and development projects at Purdue.

GE Aviation leadership has met with Purdue officials to explore opportunities that will closely align the university to the new Lafayette facility. Purdue University is widely recognized as a leader in manufacturing technology, and GE intends to use the new facility as a catalyst for identifying talent and research capability.

GE Aviation and its partner companies have the largest and fastest-growing installed base of jet engines in commercial aviation and a global services network to support them. GE and its partner companies have about 34,000 commercial jet engines in service, and that will grow to 41,000 engines by 2020. GE Aviation employs approximately 44,000 people and operates more than 80 facilities worldwide.

By the end of 2013, GE Aviation's multi-year backlog for equipment and services reached $125 billion, more than a 20 percent growth in one year. Emerging markets continue to drive growth, with international orders representing 75% of this backlog.

“To stay competitive, it is important that we continue to pursue orders in every corner of the globe,” said Tony Aiello, Vice President and General Manager of Assembly, Test and Overhaul for GE Aviation. “We will make it here in Indiana and ship it to customers all around the world, and we're very proud of that.”

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on July 21, 2014

 

 Contact details from our directory:
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines
CFM International Inc. Turbofan Engines

 

 Related directory sectors:
Engines

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