An industrial revolution
From science fiction to reality:
the Factory of the Future deploys technologies that were undreamed of only a generation ago. The Factory of the Future fosters the convergence of a multitude of solutions engendered by the digital revolution: connected machines and objects (Internet of Things), data continuity for production and operations, real-time processing of huge masses of data, robotics, cobotics and human-machine interfaces, 3D printing (additive manufacturing), artificial intelligence and much more. These technologies impact every facet of conventional production systems, from manufacturing per se all the way to testing and logistics, not to mention R&D and even staff training. The upshot of the digital transformation is a factory that has been redesigned around people, providing an optimized working environment that lets employees focus on higher value-added tasks. It’s also a plant that meets new business requirements, through shorter development cycles, much faster responsiveness, higher productivity and better quality control.
In 2016 Safran spent 704 million euros on industrial facilities in 2016, including 483 million euros in France, the strategic core of our research and production operations, and home to 60 % of the Group’s 30,000 production jobs worldwide. Over and above our own transformation, Safran also encourages buy-in to these precepts by the entire industrial ecosystem through strategic partnerships spanning our supply chain: Aubert & Duval for materials, Mecachrome for machined parts, Dassault Systèmes for computer modeling, and startups like Diota for augmented reality.
« Lead times, quality, costs… The Factory of the Future is the fruit of a realization that our plants need to make a quantum jump in performance to maintain their competitiveness. At the same time, we have to leverage digital solutions which will lead to breakthroughs not seen in the last 40 years. Futurizing our factories is also a way of addressing the unprecedented pace of change in today’s aerospace market. For example, take the LEAP®, our new turbofan engine already chosen for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 jetliners. We delivered 100 of these engines in 2016, and this figure will jump to nearly 500 in 2017, 1,200 in 2018, 1,800 in 2019 and 2,000 in 2020. In other words, in just four years, we will experience a growth rate that its predecessor, the CFM56®, never reached in 20 years of volume production. » Olivier Horaist, Group Vice President Industrial and Purchasing
Partner in the Factory Lab initiative
Safran is one of the eight founding members of the Factory Lab. Inaugurated in September 2016 in the Paris-Saclay science and technology cluster, it consolidates leading players from the worlds of research, education and industry for the full-scale testing of the underlying technologies for the Factory of the Future developed by innovative small businesses. Eight projects have already been selected, with the aim of building demonstrators in nine to 12 months, and a second project selection round is in the pipeline. In the long run, this structure will support about 20 annual projects, with a five-year budget of 40 million euros.