New York - CFM International, the American-French engine manufacturer, has failed to meet its 2017 target of 500 new deliveries for Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX. The reason, among other things, is quality problems with individual components.
The company is about four to five weeks behind schedule in the production of LEAP-1A (Airbus A320neo) and LEAP-1B (Boeing 737 MAX) engines, according to CFM International. The joint venture of GE and Safran had been able to deliver only 459 engines in 2017 instead of 500 planned.
The delays are partly due to the fact that the older CFM56 (A320ceo and Boeing 737) is still in greater demand than expected. 1441 of the 1,900 engines produced in 2017, were CFM56s.
On the other hand, childhood diseases of the LEAP-1A also played an important role in delays. The engine competes with the Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G-JM for the A320neo.
Safran had publicized quality problems with a turbine disk last July, so 70 LEAP-1A will need to be inspected and overhauled early. The half is already done, the rest will be done in the next three months, says CFM.
In addition, air valves of the starter must be retrofitted on already delivered engines. There is also a problem with the coating of the first turbine stage; it prematurely broke off on some LEAP-1A.
CFM claims to be working on solutions to the problems and is confident that it will reach its target production rate of 1,100 to 1,200 LEAP engines this year. Meanwhile, Airbus and Boeing have apparently asked CFM if the company could support even higher production rates.
Airbus intends to produce 60 A320neos per month from the beginning of 2019. Boeing is also examining an increase in the production of the Boeing 737 over 57 aircraft monthly for 2019.