Equipment Installation Takes AEC a Step Closer to LEAP Production
This July another milestone in Albany Engineered Composites' (AEC’s) progress towards ramping up to produce parts for the LEAP aircraft engine program was achieved. Equipment began moving into one of two plants in which AEC and Safran Aerospace Composites will co-locate to produce composite components for the LEAP engine. Construction of the plant – located in Rochester, New Hampshire and shown to the right– is nearly complete. Low-rate initial production will begin in the plant over the next few months, with production rates increasing during 2014 and the years to follow.
The ramp to production for the LEAP program is considered the largest in aeroengine history, with anticipated production rates of 1600 engines per year by 2020. For AEC, this means producing approximately 100,000 parts per year to meet that need.
“The most exciting part of this for me is the evolution of AEC almost as a by-product of our work with the LEAP program,” says Diane Loudon, AEC’s Vice President of Operations and General Manager for LEAP activities. “The cross functional teamwork at AEC as we transition into the plant is ground breaking, and our newly minted qualification processes for the plant have set a high bar for us.”
The Rochester production plant is one of two composite component production plants where AEC will be located. The second plant is currently under construction in Commercy, France.