Through the acquisition of Aero-Craft outside Hartford, Connecticut in the US in December 2004, Volvo Aero was able to add yet another specialized component to its product portfolio: fan cases. The fan case, which houses the forward section of an aircraft engine, is the largest engine component.
At the same time, Volvo Aero entered a strategic alliance with Carlton Forge, which among other aspects means that Volvo Aero and Carlton Forge can deliver fan cases to a number of engine types, including General Electric’s GE90, for which Volvo Aero has a contract with Carlton Forge.
The component is manufactured in aluminum and weighs 2.7 tons when the cast blank is delivered. After machining, the component weighs about 600 kilograms.
”We have learned tremendously from this start-up, which will facilitate future fan case start-ups,” says Martin Thordén, Project Leader. ”The major challenge was that we started from a blank page. Aero-Craft had never before produced such a component and we were not accustomed to the material. Accordingly, we had to build the entire industrial structure from the ground up.”
”The employees did an excellent job. We produced the first component without any deviations, despite this being the first component of its type,” says Martin Wänblom, President of Aero-Craft.
Aero-Craft will also manufacture fan cases for both engine alternatives for Boeing’s forthcoming 787, the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and General Electric’s GEnx. The GEnx will also be mounted on the updated version of the Boeing 747 that will enter traffic in 2009.
The high demand for components from Aero-Craft culminated in the decision to expand the facilities in Newington extensively. Ground was broken in November for a new factory building that is scheduled to be completed in summer 2007. Upon completion, the workforce will be gradually increased from 50 to about 90 employees.”
January 16, 2007
For more information, please contact Martin Wänblom, President of Aero-Craft, +1 860 667 8502
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