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GE Aviation selects Indiana for $100m jet factory

Staff writer ▼ | March 27, 2014
GE Aviation announced that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility in neighboring Lafayette, Indiana. It becomes the seventh new GE Aviation facility in the U.S. in the past seven years.
GE Aviation
GE AviationGE Aviation announced that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility in neighboring Lafayette, Indiana. It becomes the seventh new GE Aviation facility in the U.S. in the past seven years.


The new facility is joining sites in Batesville, MS; Auburn, AL; Greenville, SC; Dayton, Ohio; Ellisville, MS; and Asheville, NC. These facilities support more than 2,500 new U.S. jobs and investment in more than 1 million square feet of new facilities. Between 2013 and 2017, GE Aviation expects to invest more than $3.5 billion in plant and equipment at its sites worldwide, with most of the investment in the U.S.

The new 225,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette will assemble the new LEAP engine of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France. CFM has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 6,000 LEAP jet engines – and it does not enter service until 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft for airlines worldwide. Click here for photos from the event.

Launched in 2008, the LEAP is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, GE could begin hiring at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015. Within five years, the plant's workforce is expected to exceed 200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as the engine's hot section (compressor, combustor, high-pressure turbine).

Final assembly of the LEAP engine at the Lafayette facility will involve using components and sub-assemblies from GE and Snecma operations and from their suppliers around the world. The LEAP engine will also be assembled at GE's existing engine assembly plant in Durham, North Carolina.

The Lafayette facility will operate a highly advanced assembly line incorporating several new technologies, including automated vision inspection systems and radio frequency parts management to easily spot parts on the shop floor. GE worked closely with the state of Indiana to secure the Lafayette location.

The state of Indiana, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the city of Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County have provided technical support and incentives to ensure a smooth and successful start-up. To prepare for the new factory, GE will work with Ivy Tech at Lafayette for skills and training support.

The plant will be minutes from Purdue University in West Lafayette, which has a long history of collaboration with GE Aviation and its parent, General Electric Co. GE employs more than 1,200 Purdue University alumni, including more than 400 at GE Aviation. Over the past five years, GE has financed more than $2.5 million in research and development projects at Purdue.


 

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