France’s Safran Group, one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, has announced that it will open a €68 million additive manufacturing campus in Bordeaux, France. Named Campus Safran Additive, the company has received local support for the complex which is expected to create 200 jobs in engineering, production and R&D.
3D printing engines
The Safran Group was created in 2005 in a merger with Snecma and Sagem, a defense and consumer electronics company. The Group now has three main divisions: aerospace propulsion, aircraft equipment, and defense.
For more than a decade Safran has been applying 3D printing technology to its works-in-progress. In this time, Safran has collaborated with Airbus to 3D print a titanium hydraulic part for the A350. In addition to this, Safran Electronics and Defense has integrated SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE platform for product lifecycle management.
To manufacture aerospace parts, Safran uses industrial metal 3D printers such as the EOSINT 270 DMLS machine and Trumpf‘s TruLaser Cell 7020. Fully functional 3D printed parts have been installed on aircraft and helicopter engines such as the Safran Aneto, and the Arrano, which feature SLM printed fuel injector nozzles.
The aerospace giant also has an industrial skills center within Safran Tech, the group’s research and innovation center opened in 2015. At this center, employees are trained to work with additive manufacturing.
Adding jobs to the industry
In Haillan, Bordeaux, the €68 million Campus Safran Additive will be a substantial addition to the company’s 3D printing capabilities. It also presents new opportunities for the Region of New Aquitaine, which will reportedly contribute €6.9 million to help fund the complex.
Alain Rousset, President of the region that also proposed a “Plan for Digital Aquitaine” says, “Safran’s choice shows the attractiveness of our territory and the quality of the ecosystem we have built around the technologies of the future. Additive manufacturing is crucial for our metallurgy sector,” (translation from original French comment.)
Furthermore, workers at a Ford plant in nearby Blanquefort (which is due to be closed this year) will be reclassified to work with 3D printing technology for Safran. Another plant for carbon part manufacturing is also planned in the near future.