Increasing its already strong focus on customer support, CFM International has developed new ways of doing business that are providing even greater value to the customer.
CFM International (CFMI) is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
One of the company's primary objectives has been to address, and help reduce, airline direct operating costs (DOC). To this end, CFMI has adopted a global cost of ownership approach that addresses everything from initial acquisition cost to maintenance costs to fuel burn.
CFM56 engines have always been designed to meet market thrust requirements, provide fleet commonality, and improve performance, but CFMI has gone even further with continuous injections of technology that make the engines even more efficient, more easily maintained, and more reliable. For example, the CFM56 baseline shop visit rate was reduced by more than 40 percent between 1984 and 1993. The company also tailors it services to meet customers individual needs and works closely with airlines to ensure they get the most from their investment and, in recent years, has extended warranties on new products and improved product integration with aircraft manufacturers.
CFMI has also become more flexible in meeting customer demands by reducing production lead time. Between 1993 and 1996, the CFM56 order-to- delivery cycle will have been reduced by 60 percent. The new CFM56-7, which is scheduled for certification in October 1996, only 34 months after the program launch. Engines had formerly been certified in about 48 months.
In addition, CFMI has stepped up efforts to work more closely with customers in the field. Since early 1993, the company has opened nearly 20 new field representative offices, providing experience and support to start-up airlines in areas such as India, China, Vietnam, Mauritius, and the Baltic States. Earlier this month, the company broke ground on a new training school in Chengdu, China. The center, the first of its kind in China, is being developed by CFMI and GE with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to support the operation of CFM56, CF6, and, later, GE90 engines in the region. The school is located adjacent to the CAAC Flying College and is scheduled to begin operation in temporary facilities later this year. The new, permanent facility will be completed by late 1996.