SAIFEI praised by COMAC for its good performance
SAIFEI, the joint venture between Safran Electrical & Power and Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company (COMAC) in charge of designing, producing and providing support for the C919's electrical harnesses, has achieved exemplary manufacturing results on the manufacturer's third C919 development aircraft. This success was emphasised by COMAC at its biannual supplier conference.
On 25 October 2018, at the Autumn Mid-term Suppliers Conference, COMAC showcased SAIFEI as an example in terms of its performance and support for the final assembly line for its 3rd test aircraft. "For SAIFEI, which is much a small company, it is a great source of pride. This is a testament to the commitment and excellent performance of our teams on this project," said Olivier Dubroeucq, Safran VP COMAC program and General Manager of SAIFEI on behalf of Safran.
SAIFEI achieved 100% on-time delivery for the 487 harnesses produced for this aircraft, which represents a total of 81.5km of wiring. Several factors contributed to the achievement of this milestone.
First, with the setting up of the SAIFEI management committee, a tighter day-to-day management regime was put in place. Between 30 minutes and 1 hour per day were dedicated to solving internal coordination performance problems in order to continuously improve performance, but also to reduce risks.
Then, an exemplary level of cooperation with the customer made it possible to determine priorities and to match needs as closely as possible by coordinating them with activities involving the aircraft.
Finally, the presence of a support team, totally dedicated to the final assembly line, and at the customer's disposal to manage installation problems and find solutions together.
"This is a phase that requires the perfect coordination of the four activities: production, engineering, quality and programme," explained Olivier.
A promising future for SAIFEI
The C919 is still in the development phase. The electrical and mechanical interfaces of aircraft are evolving and necessitate a high degree of adaptability and reactivity. SAIFEI expects the number of changes to reduce and aircraft 5 and 6 should, with the exception of a few options, be very close to aircraft 4.
In 2019, SAIFEI will have twice as many C919s to manufacture and the EWIS of the first production aircraft should be completed by the end of 2019. In addition, the joint-venture has started to work on the ARJ21 program, COMAC's Regional Jet, which aims to have 100 aircraft in service by 2021. "Meanwhile, we are also in discussions to work on the CR929, the future Sino-Russian long-range aircraft," concluded Olivier.
Safran's contributions to C919 program
Besides SAIFEI through which Safran supplies the EWIS to COMAC C919, Safran also supplies the Integrated Propulsion System (IPS) to COMAC through the CFM partnership established with GE, covering the LEAP-1C engine and the nacelle. Through the years, Safran has developed a strong working relationship with COMAC to provide the best solutions for the C919. Currently, Safran has more than 20 people on COMAC site in Shanghai working on engine development and airplane integration.