Rolls-Royce today officially opened a new assembly line for its Trent XWB engines in Dahlewitz, Germany, complementing its main production line in Derby, UK, and marking the first time that complete large civil engines have been assembled in Germany.
The new assembly line will help meet the exceptional demand for Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines by delivering up to two engines per week by the end of the year. Combining this with the capacity to deliver up to five Trent XWB engines from its main production line in Derby means that Rolls-Royce will be able to deliver one Trent XWB engine per day at peak.
The Trent XWB is the world’s most efficient large civil aero engine and exclusively powers the Airbus A350 aircraft. With over 1,600 orders to date, it also holds the record of being the fastest selling widebody engine ever.
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President - Civil Aerospace, said: “The Trent XWB is the cornerstone of an outstanding order book which should see us having Rolls-Royce engines installed on over 50% of wide-bodied passenger aircraft by the mid-2020s. Having a strong and resilient supply chain built around world-class operations is essential to delivering the growth in production required over the next few years. Our investment in Dahlewitz will play an important role in ensuring we reach our goals.”
Paul O’Neil, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President Assembly and Test, Civil Aerospace, added: “The first engines assembled in Dahlewitz have already been completed and tested and we are grateful for the support of the regional and federal governments in helping us achieve this. We are also very proud of our teams in Germany and Great Britain and the ways in which they have worked together to achieve this milestone.”
Brigitte Zypries, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, commented: “The growth of international air traffic provides an opportunity for our industry and its competitive companies and products. Innovation and cross-border cooperation such as the German-British model of Rolls-Royce in Dahlewitz are the right approach to stay in a leading position internationally. I wish the site, as well as all the employees, the best of success.”
Dr. Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of the State of Brandenburg, further added: “Rolls-Royce is a strong showcase for the State of Brandenburg and a significant employer. With this company we have found an industrial partner characterised by competence, innovation, continuity and reliability. The broad visibility of the site and its importance for the State of Brandenburg and beyond cannot be emphasised enough.”
The Dahlewitz site, south of Berlin, was opened in 1993, and today employs around 2,500 employees. The factory is an important production and development facility in the global Rolls- Royce group. Aside from the assembly of Trent XWB engines, the successful BR700 engine family is also assembled on site, providing propulsion for large business aircraft, as well as the V2500 engine for the Airbus A320 family. Since opening, more than 7,000 engines have been shipped from the site.
The Dahlewitz site also plays a role in the development of the next generation of aircraft engines, hosting a test centre for the power gearbox system which will feature in Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan® engine slated for delivery in the middle of the next decade.
The design of the assembly line benefited significantly from the application of virtual reality techniques developed by Rolls-Royce in conjunction with the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg. The immersive technology, usually reserved for the design of new jet engines, allowed the teams to easily understand and improve the complex designs required, eliminating flaws early in the process and reducing planning time.