French aerospace manufacturer, Safran, has been operating in Mexico for over 20 years. Historically, the aim of its operations in the country has been to provide local support for customers in the region and to engage in the market. Today, Safran has ten industrial facilities in Mexico, with close to 6,000 employees, making it the country’s leading aerospace employer. Over the last decade, Safran has invested more than $1 billion in Mexico.
To accommodate its manufacturing activities through CFM International (a joint undertaking of Safran and GE Aviation), the company announced in February 2016 the creation of a new joint Safran and Albany Engineered Composites facility in Querétaro. This facility will employ nearly 500 people and be dedicated to the production of composite parts for the LEAP engine, which will power the Boeing 737MAX, the Airbus A320neo and the Comac C919.
At the plant, Safran employees will begin producing fan blades made of 3D woven composites towards the end of 2017. Production volumes are forecast to rise sharply the following year, reaching an annual rate of over 20,000 blades in 2021.