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Airfoils in a turbofan engine.

GE Aerospace Converting MRO Center to ‘Smart’ Factory

Feb. 22, 2024
The plan to update GE’s largest aircraft engine repair center involves more additive manufacturing, automated inspection systems, and new material removal processes, plus robotics and extensive digitalization and network capabilities.

GE Aerospace is planning an $11-million investment to convert its Singapore aircraft engine repair center into a ‘Smart factory’ that will “revolutionize engine repair and expand workforce skills to support the new technologies.” The updated operation at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park will introduce capabilities that later will be implemented at two other plants, at Loyang Industrial Park.

The Singapore operation is GE Aerospace’s largest for engine component MRO, performing for more than 60 percent of its global repair volumes. It employs more than 2,000 people at the three plants.

The Smart factory will expand and update the current additive manufacturing capabilities there for high pressure compressor (HPC) airfoils for GEnx engines, and later for LEAP engines produced by a GE, joint-venture CFM International. Ultimately, the new AM capabilities will be available for CFM56 and CF34 engines, too.

The smart factory also will introduce automated inspection systems, and new material removal processes, such as net-shape airfoil robotic polishing, net-shape airfoil adaptive machining, and robotic airfoil leading-edge re-reprofiling. The operation will include a range of digital capabilities, including IOT functions, robotics, cloud storage, and data analytics for a highly connected, intelligent operation.

“Our Smart Factory investment represents the next chapter in our longstanding partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board,” stated GE Aerospace’s Russell Stokes, president and CEO. “This facility will support the government's broader economic goal of job creation while driving our innovation and competitiveness in the global MRO market to a new level.”

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