Lufthansa Technik

Airline E&M North America Speaker Interview: Carsten Wortmann, Lufthansa Technik

To preview Airline Engineering & Maintenance: North America 2016, we've asked some of our speakers to give their thoughts on the industry and what they are looking forward to discussing. Carsten Wortmann, Corporate Product Manager at Lufthansa Technik, talks about his input at this year's event.

You will be speaking at this year’s conference, can you provide some details about what your main focus will be?

The session “Entry into Service - Preparing your MRO Infrastructure” will provide valuable insights on the entry-into service of new generation fleets and key demands on the MRO infrastructure. Listeners will be able to hear Lufthansa Technik’s view on physical challenges that come with new technology aircraft, and how to prepare for these challenges in operational and AOG scenarios. Additionally, changes which become evident in the maintenance program may give opportunities to MROs to improve their maintenance concept, which will be another focus on the presentation.

Lufthansa Technik is a major industry player. Can you provide an outline of your scope?
Today, the company encompasses 30 subsidiaries and more than 25,000 employees worldwide. Our staff works at 60 line maintenance stations worldwide handling about 1,700 aircraft inspections daily, while supplying more than 2,000 aircraft with spare parts and handling more than 300,000 components annually. 110,000 line replaceable units are stored for component services worldwide.

What would you say are the main challenges in the aftermarket at the moment?
The main focus of the aftermarket industry is shifting more towards digitalization, not only in the development of inflight entertainment, on-board software, or software tools for aircraft diagnosis but also in more predictive maintenance approaches. Main challenges arise when maintenance not only has to prepare for new materials such like composites being used in larger scales, but also build up new infrastructure supporting communication with the aircraft. Lufthansa Technik is focusing on supporting airlines that are facing such physical and digital challenges.

While the challenges are always well documented, what are some of the available opportunities in the industry right now?
Augmented reality and digitalization is commonly accepted as set for being industry divers, however mobile services as customizable, flexible and above all easy solutions can drive the industry to become efficient partners to airlines. Unprecedented low prices for commodity products are also incentivizing further outsourcing and thus enlarging business volume. And still, low fuel costs let airlines make profit allowing them to invest in technical enhancements of their fleets, and into innovation projects. Only an MRO provider with the most modern technologies delivers its customers the maximum benefit. This is why Lufthansa Technik is quadrupling its investment in innovation – from 50 million euros over the past five years to 200 million euros for the period up to 2018. Innovation offers more than just tremendous potential for differentiating ourselves from the competition; it's also the source of profitable cost savings for both Lufthansa Technik and its customers.

What are the key messages you would like people to take away from your contribution to this year’s conference?
People will take away that when facing challenges arising from next generation aircraft a careful preparation for supply chain, infrastructure, operation and AOGs is indispensable. Engineering and maintenance drive innovations to sustain quality while increasing value for the airline. In the end, challenges can become opportunities when gaining efficiency from next generation maintenance concepts and predicting maintenance from an increased number of data through technical enhancements. Just like Lufthansa Technik, we want airlines and customers to perceive the increasing technical complexity of aircraft in a global industry as a motivation to continually develop new products and services for customers. Lufthansa Technik's innovations include procedures and processes as well as new services, products, and business models.

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