GE Aviation Opens Pneumatics Laboratory in Rockford, Ill.

GE Aviation, Rockford has opened a new facility that enables the company to test jet engine components under a full range of temperatures, pressures and other conditions. The Advanced Engineering Pneumatics Test Laboratory, known as AdEPT, represents a $13 million investment, and the company hopes it will help fuel continued growth at their Rockford plant.
“We are very excited about this new facility, which will support development of a new generation of products,” said GE Aviation’s Rockford site leader Chris Lauret. “AdEPT allows us to perform extremely complicated physical tests that are critical to delivering the reliability and operability our customers require.”
GE says the new facility is dedicated to testing complex, high-precision components including engine pneumatic valves, starter systems, turbo machinery, heat exchangers, and bleed air systems. The 20,000-square foot AdEPT lab is 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.”
The Rockford facility is expanding as production of GE Aviation’s jet engines reaches record levels. The 150,000-square foot facility employs a total of 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 a variety of components that support both GE’s commercial & military jet engines, as well as powerplants for helicopters, naval vessels, and tanks. Products include pneumatic & electro-mechanical valves, utility actuators, temperature controllers and high performance fans and blowers.

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