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Safran begins construction of compressor blade plant in Marchin

Construction has begun on Safran's compressor blade plant in Marchin
Construction has begun on Safran's compressor blade plant in Marchin © Safran

On August 28, Safran Aero Boosters laid the first stone for the new compressor blade plant for aircraft engines. Safran Blades is located on a former ArcelorMittal site, in the Province of Liè, Belgium using the expertise of ten economic players from Walloon.

The creation of Safran Blades was announced in December 2022 by François Lepot, CEO of Safran Aero Boosters. It represents an of €50 million (£43 million), in partnership with Belgian and Walloon federal authorities, Wallonie Entreprendre (WE) and the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company (S.F.P.I.M), both company shareholders (22%) alongside Safran Aero Boosters (56%).

Covering some 10,000 m², every day the centre of excellence will produce 2,000 blades; hundreds of the component are used in Safran Aero Boosters aircraft modules. As part of Safran's strategy of consolidating its autonomy and supply chain, the Factory 4.0 will have heavily digitised technical resources (automation, connected objects, automatic controls, , cobotics, etc.). It will employ about one hundred and is scheduled to become operational in 2025.

In the project, Safran Blades is working closely with two research centres: the CRM, which will be developing forge tool control skills, and Sirris, which will be developing its contactless real-time control skills.

The teams will also be drawing on the expertise of five state-of-the-art companies, each specialised in a particular field. Each of these genuine partners will play a part in the design and construction of Safran Blades:

ID will be implementing a standard cell that can be adapted to all types of production, integrating very different areas of expertise (mechanical, automation, specific verifications).

Indutec will be developing a waterjet cutting cell with characteristics similar to traditional digital controls in terms of precision, speed and control.

Smartyou will be deploying ‘MES', a comprehensive and autonomous SME-oriented IT production management system which will act as the workshop coordinator.

Rovitech will be developing a tool for assisting automated decision-making and non-destructive quality control processes.

Finally, based on all of the collected information and with the help of Pepite, the teams will develop an artificial intelligence that will be able to anticipate non-quality production and adapt the tools in real time.

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