Munich. 25 October 2016. MTU Aero Engines has delivered the first Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM Geared Turbofan engine assembled on its own final assembly line to Airbus.
The new assembly line for the A320neo engine at the MTU headquarters in Munich was officially inaugurated by Ilse Aigner, Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology.
Klaus Roewe, Head of the A320 Family Programme, Airbus Group, the MTU executive board members Reiner Winkler, CEO and Dr. Rainer Martens, Chief Operating Officer as well as guests of politics, industry and science attended the ceremony. This marks the completion of the last pivotal stage in the ramp-up of the cutting-edge propulsion program at MTU Aero Engines.
The final assembly line developed by MTU is characterized by a high degree of flexibility. Given the high rate of production, the work is carried out at six assembly stations using a system resembling a flow line, where the engine is successively put together from pre-assembled components and modules. This way, several engines in various build stages can be assembled and completed concurrently.
The ramp-up of PW1100G-JM engine assembly is expected to be complete by the end of 2018, and around 100 employees will be working in a six-day and multiple shift pattern. A total of about 400 people will then be working in the production of the PW1100G-JM engine program at MTU.
“The PW1100G-JM engine is our most important engine down the road,” emphasizes MTU CEO Reiner Winkler. “We are going to profit from the high order backlog for the A320neo and from the strong demand for the PW1100G-JM engine. Predictions are that in the future, the ‘neo’ engine aftermarket business will also see above-average growth. For us, this translates into a high sales volume over the entire engine life cycle.”
The decisive impetus for the development of a new propulsion system to power the A320 family came in late 2010 when Airbus decided to go forward with the A320neo (new engine option). Among the innovations that make this aircraft stand out are its engines, which usher in a new era of eco-efficient flying: The PW1100G-JM engine, which is a member of Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan (GTF) family, is quieter, more fuel efficient and cleaner than any other engine in its class.
“We have succeeded in passing a crucial milestone by shipping the first engine for the A320neo. Up to date, we have invested about €15 million into the new assembly line,” reports Dr. Rainer Martens, MTU Chief Operating Officer. “With our stake in the GTF programs, our production volume will double within five years’ time. While last year, we handled about 2,000 engines and modules across our entire product range, this figure will go up to around 4,000 by the year 2020 already.” MTU contributes the high-speed low-pressure turbine, the forward four stages of the high-pressure compressor and brush seals to the GTF engines.
Five years ago, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer took an 18-percent program stake in this engine for the A320neo, its work-share also including final assembly and testing of almost one third of all PW1100G-JM engines. Never before has the company taken on responsibility for the complete final assembly of a commercial engine in such high volumes. Earlier this August, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. awarded the Production Certificate, allowing MTU to perform assembly and acceptance testing in Munich.
“Thanks to extensive and close cooperation with Pratt & Whitney, MTU is now one of three facilities worldwide able to perform final assembly of the PW1100G-JM engine powering the A320neo,” says Michael Schreyögg, MTU Chief Program Officer. “We’ve geared up for maintenance just as intensely as we’ve prepared for production, building the capacities and expertise we need to perform MRO on the ‘neo’ engine. Our facility in Hannover has already obtained approval for maintaining the engines.”