GE Aviation opens pneumatics laboratory


GE Aviation has opened a US$13 million laboratory to test jet engine components under a full range of temperatures, pressures and other conditions.

The Advanced Engineering Pneumatics Test Laboratory (AdEPT) has been built at the company’s plant in Rockford, Illinois.

“We are very excited about this new facility, which will support development of a new generation of products,” said Chris LauretGE Aviation’s Rockford site leader. “AdEPT allows us to perform extremely complicated physical tests that are critical to delivering the reliability and operability our customers require.”

The AdEPT lab will test complex, high-precision components including engine pneumatic valves, starter systems, turbo machinery, heat exchangers, and bleed air systems. The 20,000 square foot lab has equipment capable of simulating a wide variety of conditions, combining pneumatic temperature, pressure and flow to simulate real-world conditions.

“Before AdEPT, we had to rely on computer simulations,” said Bryan Schwichtenberg, who led the 30-month project to develop the new lab. “Now we are able to test large, complex systems in a variety of conditions to optimize our designs and performance.”

GE Aviation’s Rockford facility employs 220 people, including nearly 100 hourly production workers, a commercial team, and an engineering staff of more than 40 people. The facility manufactures and repairs components for GE’s commercial & military jet engines, as well as powerplants for helicopters, naval vessels, and tanks. 

March 7, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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