The first is a multi-decade extension of Rhinestahl’s long-term agreement to handle GE’s customer tooling solutions (CTS) business for both commercial and military customers, which Rhinestahl took over in 2009. The exclusive agreement covers more than 40,000 different tools for assembly, disassembly and maintenance for all of GE’s engine programs. According to Dieter Moeller, Rhinestahl’s president and CEO, the agreement’s extension is “to give customers confidence that we’re going to be there through the life of their programs.”
In addition to the CTS agreement extension, Rhinestahl has been named GE’s OEM authorized tooling provider for both the Passport and GE9X engine programs. The Passport deal is a long-term, exclusive agreement with Rhinestahl, which Moeller says will cover the engine customer’s lifetime. Moeller says the GE9X agreement—also spanning multiple decades—will be important in supporting customers for the upcoming 777X. The GE9X agreement entails two licensees, with Dedienne Aerospace designated as the other authorized engine tooling provider.
A representative for GE says Rhinestahl was chosen as a tooling provider for the GE9X thanks to its outstanding customer service since taking over GE’s CTS business. GE says the agreement incorporates all tooling required for customers to maintain the engine and is tailored to the needs of each engine.
Moeller says tooling lead times vary depending on how involved each program is. Rhinestahl can provide tools within two to three months for entry-into-service, which Moeller says is a pretty quick turnaround. He adds that turnaround time for heavier maintenance is usually within a 12-18 month time frame, depending on how extensive customer requirements are.
Rhinestahl celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and Moeller points out that the company has been involved in engine tooling the entire time, which he says sets the company up as a leader in the segment. Earlier this year, Rhinestahl was selected as a LEAP tooling provider for both Sunwing Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.