In an exclusive pre-Paris Air Show interview with MRO Network this week, Andrew Tanner – the engine maker’s vice-president in charge of customer service and commercial engines aftermarket – discussed how the OEM was ramping up for the GTF’s entry in to service and how the new engine family had brought the significant changes to the OEM’s aftermarket approach.
The first change, he says has been a simplification and streamlining of systems. “As we look at the volume that we’re facing – 6,400 orders and counting – we’re transforming our business to deal with that demand. We’ve really been driving to lean our internal structure to make sure that we are more efficient,” he said.
The second key element has been the shift from a traditional “transactional” business model to a service model. “More airlines are investing in rate-per-flight-hour fleet management plans (FMP) because they see the value they bring. Today roughly 40 per cent of the PW4000 fleet are under some kind of FMP; looking forward to the GTF, I expect to see coverage of around 80 per cent."
To meet this huge ramp up in demand for MRO services the OEM is working with its partners MTU and JAEC, with shops in Asia, Europe and North America, but Tanner fully expects that in time airline and independent shops will enter into the market.
“By 2020 when the first wave of GTF engines come in for their first overhauls, we expect about 10 engine overhaul shops to be available to provide services to GTF engine customers,” he said.
The OEM is also ramping up its training offering augmenting its centres in Connecticut and Beijing with a brand new facility in India to be closer to P&W’s customers explained Tanner.
“We see a lot of growth in that part of the world, not just in India but in countries nearby,” he said. “Travel to India is easier for some of those airlines rather than sending their technicians all the way to North America or China.
“Between the India and China facilities I think that we’ll see about 50 per cent of our training classroom time starting next year.”
The centre, which is currently under construction, is set to open in the second half of this year and will offer V2500 training alongside the GTF courses.
The last key change that the GTF is bringing to P&W’s aftermarket programme is the use of data for predictive maintenance.
Tanner spoke of the firm’s projects with partners such as IBM, MIT and United Technologies that are exploring how to get the best out of engine performance data.
“We want to be far more proactive or predictive, than we are today in terms of engine health and we have projects on the go that really drive maximising time on wing,” he said.
Data, he said, is sure to be one of the hot topics at next week’s air show, alongside, of course, the entry into service of the GTF.
Looks like P&W has both those well and truly covered.
You can also read Chris Kjelgaard’s in-depth feature on the PW1000G family, which appears in the June/July issue of ATE&M.