GE Aviation Poised to Add Jobs

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GE Aviation is set to increase employment at its Castle Hayne facility, the company's plant leader said Wednesday as he hosted a tour by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

The jet engine parts maker will add about 20 people to its 600-person workforce, said Kevin Prindable. Some of them will be replacements because of retirements.

But more growth could come in 2013 as a result of orders GE received for aircraft engines at the Paris Air Show in June.

GE and its joint-venture partners sold more than 1,400 engines worth about $16 billion, plus $11 billion worth of service for those engines, said GE Aviation spokeswoman Shannon Thompson.

Certain of those engine parts will be made in Wilmington, she said, and production should start around 2013.

Hundreds of engine parts are milled at the cavernous production facility. About 460 pieces of equipment are involved in 21 special processes at the 700,000-square-foot plant, which does machining and welding as well, Thompson said.

The plant produces rotating parts for the GE90, CF34 and CFM56 commercial engines. Parts also are made here for GE's GEnx engine, which will power Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner.

Much of the parts production is then shipped up Interstate 40 to Durham for assembly into engines, said Sheila Farrell, human relations leader at the plant. That will be the case with the GEnx engine as well, Prindable said.

Established in 1980, "we are the center for the most technically challenging rotating hardware in the world," Prindable said.

In all, the plant ships 55 different components and has more than 250 airlines as customers, he said.

Wayne Faulkner: 343-2329

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Source: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20110810/ARTICLES/110819973/1002?Title