GE Aviation Asheville Facility Delivers 25,000th Ceramic Matrix Composite Component
In the past 10 years, GE Aviation has spent more than $1.5 billion to bring advanced CMC technology to market.
GE Aviation Asheville, producer of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components for commercial aviation applications, recently celebrated the delivery of its 25,000th CFM International LEAP engine turbine shroud. Just five years after breaking ground, CMC production at the site is reportedly thriving. Shroud production rates for the LEAP program have more than tripled each year since the site opened. Today, these Asheville-produced shrouds have surpassed more than 1.5 million flight hours on the 800+ LEAP engines in commercial airline service.
“It’s easy to see why GE Aviation is thriving here in Asheville,” said Ryan Huth, GE Aviation Asheville CMC plant leader. “We have a terrific workforce culture that can adapt quickly to solve daily complex challenges. We also have a solid community relationship that supports growth in advanced manufacturing technology.”
In addition, GE Aviation Asheville recently began delivering CMC components for the GE9X, the world’s largest commercial jet engine. With an 11-ft diameter, the GE9X can generate more than 100,000 lbs of thrust. By the end of 2018, GE Aviation Asheville will deliver five separate CMC parts for this engine, which is scheduled to enter service by the end of the decade on the Boeing 777X.
As the demand for CMCs has grown, so has the workforce at the site. In 2013, GE Aviation broke ground on the $126 million, 170,000-sq-ft Asheville CMC facility. Around 340 employees were projected for the site five years ago. In March, GE Aviation Asheville announced an additional 131 employee, $105 million investment that could grow the workforce to approximately 555 employees.
“The high volume of hiring here will continue to increase through the end of 2020,” said Sarah Hall, senior human resource manager. “There are various roles ranging from CMC technicians to ceramists, engineers and production control. We have a self-directed workforce highly involved in the decision making of the site. Everyone contributes to the positive and motivating culture that we have.”
In the past 10 years, GE Aviation has spent more than $1.5 billion to bring advanced CMC technology to market. Beyond GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., this investment includes four production facilities, inluding: Cincinnati, Ohio; Newark, Del.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Toyama, Japan.