: 2 min

Safran Aircraft Engines embraces additive manufacturing

Safran Aircraft Engines has adopted a powder-bed additive manufacturing process to make a new part for the CFM56-7B engine.* That part is located in the low-pressure section — the section of the engine we’re responsible for at Safran Aircraft Engines. To learn more about this innovative new process, we spoke to Bruno Durand, SVP Manufacturing & Supply Chain.
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Bruno Durand, SVP Manufacturing & Supply Chain.

What's the timeframe for moving to series production?
The modification was certified in October 2017, after the design, bench testing and production engineering phases. We've manufactured several dozen units already. And from early 2018, all CFM56-7B engines delivered by CFM International* will be fitted with this part. CFM will thus have respected its commitment to Boeing to introduce this new part before the end of 2017.

What's the timeframe for moving to series production?
The modification was certified in October 2017, after the design, bench testing and production engineering phases. We've manufactured several dozen units already. And from early 2018, all CFM56-7B engines delivered by CFM International* will be fitted with this part. CFM will thus have respected its commitment to Boeing to introduce this new part before the end of 2017.

 

What are the advantages of this process?
Additive manufacturing is a really useful solution, because you can launch production much faster than with casting or "subtractive" techniques such as machining from solid. From an industrial standpoint, it requires minimal mechanical refinishing, or machining, so cycle times are much shorter. Our additive manufacturing teams will be making this part here until we can find the right supplier to take over.

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What's the future for additive techniques at Safran Aircraft Engines?
Safran is keen to make use of additive manufacturing, so we've got the Group's support for the development of other parts in the future. We've shown today that additive manufacturing isn't just a "test lab" procedure and that we can adapt it to series production for one of our flagship engines. At the same time, we're planning to set up an additive production line for other parts, and we'll be investing in new equipment and training our teams to achieve this ambition.

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*The CFM56-7B engine powers the B737 NG series aircraft.
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