MTU opens blisk production hall in Munich

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German engine specialist MTU has belatedly inaugurated a dedicated blisk production facility at its Munich headquarters.

The building had been due to open in late 2012.

The manufacturer invested around €65 million ($85 million) to construct, over the past 20 months, a new hall on the site of production facilities that were torn down.

The 10,000m² (108,000ft²) site has been laid out to increase annual blisk fabrication from the current 600 to 3,500 units by 2016.

Some 200 staff members will be employed to produce bladed disks for high- and intermediate-pressure compressors in turbofan and turboprop engines, says MTU.

But the facility has been highly automated to keep production costs down despite Germany's high salary levels.

At the heart of the site is a 96m-long (315ft) material distribution system, which automatically transports the components to the different workstations.

While all workpieces will be labelled with radio-frequency identification tags, the computerised distribution system calculates the optimal workflow depending on the production stations' current utilisation.

MTU plans to install 20 milling machines, seven combined turning and milling machines, and eight equipment measuring units.

Blisks will be produced for the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G geared-turbofan family, the PW800 business-jet powerplant and Europrop International's TP400-D6 turboprop for the Airbus A400M military transport.