40 Years of GE Aviation in Singapore
Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future
GE has a long history in flight, a century to be exact. While not as long as 100 years, GE Aviation Engine Services Singapore (GE AESS) celebrated a significant milestone this year, marking its 40th anniversary in the country. Whilst celebrating the many achievements and growth over the years, GE AESS also announced a breakthrough as the first Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in the world to implement Additive Manufacturing technology to the repair of commercial jet engine airfoil components.
GE Aviation Engine Services Singapore’s 40th anniversary celebration, graced by the country’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong.
Over the past 40 years, GE AESS has been a pioneer and key contributor to Singapore’s aerospace innovation and talent. It has grown to be GE Aviation’s largest site for engine component MRO, accounting for 60 per cent of its global repair volumes.
Beginning in 1981 with only 112 employees, the organisation has grown in tandem with Singapore’s aspirations from a low-wage assembly to a high-technology, value-adding solutions provider, and regional hub. With 1,700 employees today, GE AESS provides aircraft engine component manufacturing and repair services for over 100 customers, serving as one of GE Aviation’s most efficient plants globally.
Developing Breakthrough Innovations through Collaboration
Throughout decades of pioneering presence in the country, GE has collaborated closely with Singapore’s government to propel research and development in the field of aviation. Most notably, in 2018, GE Aviation partnered with Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) to invest in the state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Centre to fuel innovations in the application of Additive Manufacturing Technology in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of commercial jet engines.
This investment has already resulted in a breakthrough in 3D Printing for Additive Manufacturing Technology for the repair of commercial jet engine airfoil components, which led GE AESS to becoming the first in the world to implement an approved additive repair for High Pressure Compressor Airfoils.
Co-developed by GE’s local engineers and GE’s Additive Manufacturing Technology Centers in the US, this innovation allows twice as many jet engine parts to be repaired daily, enabling customers’ aircraft to take to the skies again in a shorter period of time.
Lead Scientist, Material Science and Engineering, Lisa Tan (left) with Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong (right) explaining the new GE Aviation Service Operations Additive Repair technology.
Investing in Technology and People
GE Aviation’s continued growth is a result of its commitment to partnering with Singapore, not only on innovations for the future but also its dedication to upskill the local workforce. In just one example of this commitment, GE focuses on training local engineering talent in current and future aviation technologies including automation, robotics and additive manufacturing that will empower new levels of productivity and efficiency.
Its efforts include collaborations with local and overseas research centers and educational institutions to further innovation in the sector. Some of the skills training programmes available are a Work-Study Diploma in Aircraft Engine Maintenance, launched by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in partnership with GE Aviation; the Earn and Learn program, which allows individuals to work as aircraft engine technicians while attaining their Diploma at the same time; and the Professional Conversion Program where mid-career professionals from non-aviation industries are given opportunities to be re-trained.
In continued support of the government’s aim to increase workforce productivity, the company also set up an Automation and Robotics Lab to develop innovative solutions, especially around material removal via robotic polishing and automated inspection systems.
Lead Engineer, Lee Yin Jen (right) with Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong (left) at the GE Aviation Service Operations, Automation and Robotics Lab.
As we witness the aviation sector’s recovery with borders opening up and customers’ aircraft taking to the skies again, GE Aviation remains ready to support its customers and deliver on its mission to reimagining the future of flight. This is alongside the company’s commitment to working with customers and partners in the aviation industry to develop more sustainable equipment and processes through research into new technologies, to help safeguard the planet’s future.
Looking ahead, GE AESS is seeking to grow its talent in all areas and are recruiting technicians and engineers, especially for automation and robotics, and additive manufacturing, as well as advanced technology researchers to support technology growth, with 300 new jobs available in 2022.
Flying High Against All Odds
GE Aviation Engine Services Singapore’s four incredible decades in operation has seen it grow alongside the country as a leading aircraft engine component repair facility with a strong workforce serving customers around the world. GE Aviation’s long list of key customers include Singapore Airlines Group, ST Engineering Aerospace, Republic of Singapore Air Force, as well as BOC Aviation. It is one of the largest engine suppliers for the Republic of Singapore’s Airforce fighter and helicopter fleets.
The company marked this special 40-year milestone on November 22 and what made the event extra special was that seven employees were honoured for their long service – 40 years -- when the company first began operations!