NTN-SNR was at the International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget from 19 to 25 June inbattle formation, ready to meet orders placed under the major contracts signed for the supply of bearings for CFMI LEAP engines, Pratt and Whitney NGPF engines and Rolls Royce Trent 1000 and 7000 engines. As a result a €27 million investment, called “Take Off was initiated for the extension and modernization of the Argonay production site (France). This production site solely produces bearings for aviation, This new cutting-edge plant started proding parts in 20XX. This investment includes robots, best in class machines for grinding, complex machining and heat treatment, implementation of a MES (Manufacturing Execution System), and ergonomic workstations. The investment will continue in stages through 2018 In addition, NTN-SNR is working on bearings which will be used in the transmission of the new Airbus Helicopter X6. It is also compulsory for the new production site to obtain customer certification, which will enable it to start the LEAP bearing maintenance and repair market, in addition to developing a R&D programme for powder metallurgy.
Tomorrow’s plant for today’s engines
NTN-SNR’s Take-off project will enable it to offer a site at the cutting edge of technology, and productivity, enabling them to meet the quality requirements and order volumes generated by the new contracts signed. It is a genuine plant of the future for producing the bearings for the LEAP engines produced by CFMI (a joint venture between GE and SAFRAN, Pratt and Whitney NGPF engines, and Rolls Royce Trent 1000 and 7000 engines. Almost 70% of the investment is going into machines for heat treatment (case hardening, vacuum treatment and nitriding), grinding, complex machining, a new breakthrough technology for roller production, metrology, automating certain processes and non-destructive testing. The Lean method has been applied to range optimisation, line design, and workstation ergonomics with both physical and cognitive workspace rating during the design phase. This approach, together with advanced employee training, reduces the throughput time of parts under production to support the increased production rates that will be imposed by the new programmes. Another major aspect in satisfying the demands of these contracts is the complete traceability of the parts produced, which is provided by a MES. Finally, to ensure the best possible mechanical stability of the parts during production, the new building complies with strict thermal constraints, with variations of no more than 1°C per hour over 3,800 m2.
New markets, new innovation programmes
NTN-SNR has signed several contracts to provide bearings for CFMI’s LEAP engines, Pratt and Whitney’s NGPF and Rolls Royce’s Trent 1000 and 7000, In addition, NTN-SNR has secured its long-standing relationship with Airbus Helicopters by being selected to develop the transmission bearings for the X6 helicopter, which is set to replace the Super Puma. NTN-SNR also has its sights on the significant maintenance and repair market for LEAP engine bearings, and is implementing the processes that will enable it to obtain customer certification. NTN-SNR has been involved in this market for 25 years through its work on the bearings for the CFM56 engine. NTN-SNR has always invested heavily in innovation, particularly in the aviation sector. One of the new areas of research is powder metallurgy. This new technology is very promising with a view to obtaining steel capable of withstanding larger loads for the same overall dimensions, due to greater hardness and improved fatigue resistance. The company is working in this area with Aubert and Duval, a well-known French steelmaker in the aviation world, which will also be exhibiting at Le Bourget.
Come and meet NTN-SNR on stand B276 – Hall 2A throughout the Le Bourget show from 19 to 25 June 2017.
NTN-SNR ROULEMENTS, headquartered in Annecy (Haute-Savoie, France), belongs to Japanese Group NTN Corporation, a global leader in bearings. NTN-SNR manages and develops all NTN’s activities for the EMEA region and Brazil. NTN-SNR, a major force as a designer, developer and manufacturer of bearings and sub-assemblies for the automotive sector, industry and aeronautics, offers a comprehensive range by also developing maintenance services and solutions. NTN-SNR employs 4,225 people at nine production sites, including six in France, as well as 18 sales offices.