CFM56 engine production will reach record levels in 1999, with CFM producing about 1,100 engines by year end, including delivery of its 10,000th engine during the Paris Air Show.
CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
CFM delivered more than 2,500 CFM56 engines between 1995 and 1998. Although production nearly tripled during this time frame, CFM met all of its commitments without once delaying the Airbus A320, A340, or Boeing 737 production lines. This production ramp-up is unique to aviation history and behind it stands a remarkable story of international cooperation, incisive strategic decisions, and skilled execution.
Production ramp-up of the CFM56-7 engine for the 737-600/-700/-800 series is unprecedented in commercial aviation, jumping from 10 engines in 1996 to more than 600 in 1999. At the same time, CFM56 production for Airbus aircraft has grown from 246 engines in 1996 to more than 400 in 1999.
CFM has managed to accomplish this through intense coordination between more than a dozen GE and Snecma (Safran Group) facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, in addition to hundreds of suppliers worldwide.
Snecma (Safran Group) and GE adjusted engine assembly to meet production peaks by opening additional CFM56-7 assembly production at Snecma's Villaroche plant (which assembles the CFM56-5 engines), in addition to GE's Evendale, Ohio, facility.
It is daunting for a single operation to meet such a tremendous challenge. But it is disproportionately more so for an international joint company. However, as CFM President Grard Laviec has noted, "One advantage of 25 years of marriage between GE and Snecma (Safran Group) through CFM is that we really know how to work together."