A Giant Leap for Nogales' Aerospace IndustryFri, 12/01/2017 - 18:11
Sonora’s manufacturing capabilities are becoming increasingly sophisticated as companies such as Daher Aerospace introduce new technology and training to their plants in the state. The company’s partnership with Safran to manufacture noise-reducing shrouds for the LEAP 1B engine is the perfect example of this evolution.
“This part is more complex than anything we have manufactured so far but we are confident that the training our employees acquired in France will allow us to overcome this challenge quickly,” says Issa Valenzuela, Plant Manager at Daher Aerospace Mexico.
The CFM International LEAP 1B used by the Boeing 737 MAX was developed by Safran to address two main concerns for the aviation sector: sustainability and reducing operational costs. Ensuring both is a priority among aircraft manufacturers because airlines must keep fuel costs down and adhere to local and international environmental regulations. The engine provides a 15 percent decrease in fuel consumption and cuts CO2 emissions by 15 percent and NOx by 50 percent.
Since 2015, Daher Aerospace has collaborated with Safran for the manufacture of acoustic shrouds for the LEAP 1B to reduce the noise produced by the engine. However, Safran is increasing its manufacturing capacity by opening a plant in Queretaro, which has led Daher to transfer the production of these parts to Nogales. “The shrouds manufactured here will be sent to Safran’s plant in Queretaro. From there, the finished engine will be sent to Boeing’s facilities in the US. Our goal is to generate an excellent supply chain and to promote collaboration within the region,” says Valenzuela.
Daher Aerospace’s plant in Nogales specializes in composites, a segment that is growing in the region but which is still far from its full potential. “Composites are relatively unknown in the area,” says Valenzuela. This was a challenge for the company when it arrived to the state but significant investment in training and the support from Daher Aerospace’s main offices have greatly improved the situation. The Nogales plant is AS9100, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001-certified and accredited by Nadcap for the manufacture of composites (AC7118).
Valenzuela explains that the plant’s main priority for 2017 will be the technology transfer for the construction of shrouds, which should be finished this year. “We will double the production of shrouds each year for the next three years until we reach full capacity,“ says.