On 1 December 2017, Airbus Helicopters celebrated the inauguration of its Paris-Le Bourget site, where helicopter blades are now being produced for the Airbus range. The blade-specific specialisation is part of the manufacturer’s industrial strategy.
Covering an area of 18 hectares and with a total investment of more than 100 M€, the new Paris-Le Bourget site was conceived as a model for modern and digitalised production. The use of automation and cobotisation – the coexisting work performed by people and robots – will play a major role in how the site functions. Because production is organised by type of work rather than by product produced, variations in work load are able to be accommodated in a more flexible way than before. 640 employees, 100 students, interns and temporary workers work in a 35,000 m² hangar to produce and repair around 4,000 blades a year.
The transfer of Airbus’ La Courneuve activities to Paris-Le Bourget was more than just a relocation; it represents a transformation project that affects the site’s organisation of work, industrial processes, and ultimately, the company’s competitiveness. Further, it encompasses an extremely ambitious objective: to reduce production costs and manufacturing cycles for helicopters. The relocation also foreshadows Airbus Helicopters’ new industrial structure and the high level of specialisation at individual sites. Over time, Paris-Le Bourget will design and manufacture all Airbus helicopter blades.