Senior staff from both Albany International and Safran have inaugurated a new plant in Rochester, New Hampshire that will produce composite parts for aircraft engines.
The Rochester operations of Safran and Albany International are located at a new complex, about 300,000 sq. ft. large, located in the Granite State Business Park. The plant, which opened in 2013, was built to produce 3D woven composite parts using RTM technology for aircraft engine parts. The first application will be fan cases and fan blades for CFM International’s LEAP engine. A total of 130 people currently are employed at the joint operation, with a total of 400-500 envisioned when full-rate production is attained.
The foundation of the LEAP engine is deeply rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental and materials technologies. Particularly strong and lightweight, the 3D woven RTM composite parts produced by Safran and Albany will contribute strongly to provide 15 percent better fuel efficiency compared to today’s best CFM engine. Selected to power new and improved narrow-body commercial aircraft including the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, the LEAP engine has achieved broad-based market acceptance with more than 6,000 engines ordered to date.
Joseph Morone, President and CEO of Albany International Corp., said
Today’s event is an important milestone in a collaboration between Safran and Albany that began in 2000 as joint research and development and that has blossomed into the unique partnership epitomised by this plant. The strong relationships our two companies have formed with the State of New Hampshire and City of Rochester and their support of our joint effort have contributed immeasurably to the success we celebrate today.
Both companies have made significant investments in the Rochester plant, which features a state-of-the-art industrial design, and the two companies are also building a similar plant in France that will produce the same advanced composites parts for the LEAP engine.