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MTU Aero Engines Develops Unique Engine Assembly System

With the geared turbofan (GTF), MTU and MTU Aero Engines are building the most eco-efficient propulsion system currently available in the marketplace.

MTU not only contributes key turbine and compressor technologies to the family of engines but also is responsible for final assembly of one third of the PW1100G-JM geared turbofans that power the Airbus A320neo.

“To gear up for these engines, MTU has developed an innovative floor-based line assembly system and built it up and put it into operation at the company’s headquarters in Munich,” said MTU Chief Operating Officer Lars Wagner. “The system, which is unparalleled worldwide, meets the highest technological standards and also satisfies ergonomic needs.”

The core of MTU’s GTF production assembly line is a highly innovative, remotely controlled floor-based transportation system that – thanks to its modular design – can be flexibly adapted to accommodate the individual build stages of the engine.

“The system was integrated into an existing building,” said  Ulrich Peters, senior vice president, production. The system provides for PW1100G-JM engine assembly to be performed in several work steps and allows several engines in various stages of completion to be assembled concurrently. “Once the final expansion stage has been reached, 80 employees will work at the line and assemble one engine per day,” added Peter.

MTU’s assembly line does without complicated overhead crane structures; instead it relies on a floor-based system. Assembly of the engines is automated, with the latest ergonomic findings being taken into account and advanced assembly technologies and digital tools being used – and there is virtually no paperwork. Safe transportation on the ground is ensured by innovative transport carts, which have also been developed by MTU’s experts. The floor-based transportation system, or FBTS for short, consists of 16 individual carriers which can be combined as necessary and move along the assembly line. 

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