I have just returned to the office after Christmas, which I spent in my dear Norrland together with family and friends. Especially the snow was something I had longed for, since Trollhättan is a bit short of that product. Now I am at home, rested and excited for a new trainee rotation! Before I get started though, I will update you about our last activity week, and more particularly, the visit to Safran.
Visit to Safran
This was our last study visit for the week. The previous study visits during the week had been good, but the visit to Safran still met my expectations with a great deal! We had a packed day with schedule from 9-16 plus transportation around. We visited Safran’s site in Villeroche, which was amazing. Villeroche is quite close to Paris and by car it takes no more than about an hour. We like to think that our site in Trollhättan is quite large with our more than 2,000 employees and 3 major workshops, but it was nothing compared to Safran. Safran had about 5000 employees working on everything from the assembly of jet engines to customer relations with among others, Airbus.
As if that was not enough, Safran also had a large museum where the day’s tour started. The museum was run by retired employees from Safran who worked as volunteers with renovating engines and taking care of guided tours. We also happened to be lucky that the one who guided us was none other than the former CEO of the CFM56 engine, who had many exciting stories to tell about both his own career and the aerospace industry overall.
As mentioned before, the museum was very large and featured elements from the history of the entire aerospace industry, since Wright brothers flew their aircraft in 1903, to 2000 where Safran is working with their successful LEAP and CFM56 engines.
After the museum visit, we met one of Safran’s commercial managers who had a full overview of Safran’s final assembly line, which we soon would get the opportunity to see in real life. He explained how they work with AR (Augmented reality) and effective assembly lines to cope with future production and high demands from customers. After the presentation and chat, we finally got to see the final assembly line where the big engines were assembled. There were different assembly processes for different engines which was exciting to see. What I was most impressed with was that it was so quiet, efficient and modern. I had expected a lot of noise and a bit of outdated industrial facilities, but Safran was quite the opposite, which was fun to see!
The whole group in front of a LEAP engine, excited to see Safran’s final assembly line
In the evening we all went out for a nice dinner together at Notre Dame. We tried escargots, foie gras and other French specialties which was delicious. After that, we went to the Eiffel Tower to do some nightly sightseeing. During the activity weeks, we work and learn more about the aerospace industry, so if you want to do some sightseeing in the cities you travel to, you sometimes get to do it at odd times. We entered the Eiffel Tower exactly two minutes before they closed the entrance and saw the whole tower lit in the dark night. It was a nice end to the day and our second activity week!
Tour d’Eiffel by night
That was all for now!