WEST PALM BEACH--Pratt & Whitney is in negotiations with several companies over joining MTU Maintenance, IHI and Lufthansa Technik as members of the global MRO network for its PW1000G family of geared-turbofan engines.
Robert Leduc, Pratt & Whitney’s president, told reporters attending the engine manufacturer’s annual media event – held this year at P&W’s engine development, testing and production center far out in the Everglades northwest of West Palm Beach – that from later this MTU, LHT and IHI will join P&W itself in anchoring the PW1000G MRO network.
Additionally, said Leduc, “We are negotiating with others to bring them into the network.” However, asked by MRO-Network.com in a subsequent interview to identify the MRO providers with which Pratt & Whitney is in discussions, both Leduc nor P&W Commercial Engines President Chris Calio declined to name them.
However, Leduc said Pratt & Whitney is spending $450 million on its Columbus Engine Center in Georgia, in part to increase its capability to handle PW1000G shop visits. He revealed P&W is now conducting 440,000 man-hours of MRO training a year at its three Global Training Centers – which are located at its East Hartford headquarters campus, at Shanghai and at Hyderabad in India.
P&W will also expanding its PW1000G MRO activities by investing in other aftermarket functions, according to Leduc. “We’re adding mobile services and line services, because we know we have to prepare for the huge number of shop visits to come,” he said.
Additionally, Leduc highlighted the major boost P&W expects its new, uniformly branded EngineWise digital data-driven MRO services to provide for the manufacturer’s aftermarket activities. Noting that each PW1000G produces “four million data points per flight, versus 100 for the V2500,” he said EngineWise’s data-driven “diagnostics can be a game-changer for us.”
Indeed, EngineWise was one of seven Pratt & Whitney initiatives highlighted by Leduc and by a one-hour P&W digitalization showcase hosted for reporters at the West Palm Beach media event by Julianne LeBlanc, P&W’s chief information officer.
Pratt & Whitney IT managers exhibiting the company’s digitalization initiatives said that EngineWise, as “the future of Pratt & Whitney’s service strategy moving forward,” includes all of Pratt & Whitney’s customer-support initiatives. The managers said the EngineWise service portfolio aims to provide “an Internet of Things environment for legacy as well as new [Pratt & Whitney] products,” partly through a customizable customer Web portal which Pratt & Whitney first introduced 18 months ago.
The P&W IT managers said EngineWise is focusing on four main areas of service development. One is predictive data analytics, providing fleet data and MRO analytics to P&W customers to help them improve the reliability of their aircraft fleets. This function will be greatly aided by P&W’s eFAST aircraft health monitoring system, now offered on all Bombardier C Series aircraft and also for some aircraft types powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada turbine engines.
P&W’s second area of focus for EngineWise is investment in new technologies and infrastructure, to help improve customer service and resolve customer issues. These include some innovative new IT tools such as a video borescope which will allow P&W engineers to inspect customers’ engines anywhere in the world, in order to diagnose engine faults and assist in engine repair.
The third area of focus for the EngineWise program is to provide a simplified suite of services, which nevertheless will include a variety of new MRO and aftermarket services which Pratt & Whitney has not offered heretofore. The fourth area of focus is to tie all the other EngineWise customer-support initiatives together by creating additional communications channels between P&W and its customers and designing these in such a way as to offer greater two-way transparency for information exchange and technical documentation.