GE Aerospace is developing a new site dedicated to advancing inspection repair and overhaul technology that will be used at aviation service shops around the world.
GE plans to invest $14 million and bring 50 salary jobs over the next two years to the Services Technology Acceleration Center (STAC), located at 175 Progress Place in the Cincinnati suburb of Springdale, Ohio.
The STAC facility will be dedicated to developing engine services technologies and work processes, allowing for collaboration between engineering and manufacturing. The teams work together to demonstrate a technology's manufacturing readiness before scaling it for use at service shops, accelerating the entry of new repairs into the market.
"This investment is a testament to GE's continued commitment to advance our leading services technology portfolio," said Russell Stokes, President & CEO, Commercial Engines and Services for GE Aerospace. "We are creating a new, dedicated space to develop automation and robotics technologies that we can distribute at our Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul shops at scale and a different speed."
The 85,000 square foot facility will also be used as a training center for many of these state-of-the-art service technologies, as well as a GE Aerospace customer education center.
"We are innovating new ways of creating service solutions for customers," said Nicole Tibbetts, Chief Manufacturing Engineer for MRO at GE Aerospace. "This site is intended to put us in an even better position to accelerate the technologies we are developing and industrializing to service our customers at the lowest cost and highest velocity possible."
GE Aerospace Commercial Engine & Service franchise is globally responsible for on-wing support, repair, used materials and overhaul of global airlines fleets. In the past five years, GE has developed and matured a number of technologies at its service shops, including:
GE 360 Foam Wash: A cart injects a proprietary foam detergent into commercial jet engines to remove dust and dirt particles ingested during service. The foam reaches targeted areas within the engine, helping restore performance and improve fuel efficiency. Cleaning a GE90-powered Boeing 777 aircraft engines with 360 Foam Wash instead of a traditional water wash has the potential to save 35,500 gallons of fuel per year and related and related CO2 emissions.*
AI White Light Inspection: Around 90% of CFM56** engine airfoil fluorescent penetrant inspections for repair at GE's Singapore site are now done by an AI-powered robotic system. This system takes data from thousands of turbine blades to formulate and comply with a technical standard that takes subjectivity out of the inspection.
Blade Inspection Tool (BIT): OC Robotics' BIT technology can be performed while the engine is on wing. It gives customers clearer and consistent insight to aircraft engine inspections by using cutting edge AI technology to extract internal images and present them in an easy-to-consume format. BIT enables line or area measurements on engine surfaces, enabling the user to make an accurate assessment regarding the condition of hardware and ultimately the maintenance required for that engine.
* Estimates for GE90 fuel savings based on 700 cycles a year, with each cycle lasting 6.5 hours on a two-engine Boeing 777 operating in the Middle East.
**CFM is a 50/50 joint business between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines