A new GE robotics research centre has officially opened in Bromont, Quebec, site of GE Aviation Bromont. The Global Robotics, Automation and Instrumentation R&D Centre will develop advanced robotic processes, software and intellectual property for export to GE Aviation facilities around the world, a release said. It will also strengthen Aviation Bromont’s position as a “global centre of excellence.” GE Aviation Bromont manufactures engine components for CFM56 engines for the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft, and GEnx engines for the Boeing 787 and Boeing 747-8.
According to GE, the $61.4 million investment at Bromont, which includes $8 million from the Quebec government, will add up to 60 skilled jobs. Approximately 700 employees already work at the GE Aviation plant.
The chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immell, said that “advanced manufacturing” which integrates hardware and software, is “the next industrial revolution.” He said that plants like the one in Bromont are “about increasing our speed of innovation” as well as changing the way products are designed, manufactured and serviced.
GE has recently lost out on a number of new developments in the commercial jet sector. The much-anticipated Bombardier CSeries, due to make its first flight later this month, uses Pratt &Whitney engines. And, reports the Montreal Gazette, Bombardier competitor Embraer SA of Brazil also chose the Pratt & Whitney engine for its own line of commercial jets. However, orders for GE engines for the wildly successful Boeing 787 Dreamliner are strong. Orders from Asian and Middle-Eastern airlines, which Immell called “extraordinary,” are benefiting the entire aerospace industry. CFM International, GE Aviation’s joint venture company, announced $15 billion in new sales at the Paris Air Show last month,
GE Aviation and CFM International have more than 1,000 engines in service and on order with Canadian airlines. The company also manufactures engine hardware in Orillia, Ontario, and has an engine testing and research and development centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.