StandardAero has delivered its 500th CFM International CFM56-7B turbofan following overhaul at its Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, facility.
The engine, which powers the Boeing 737NG family, was inducted into the Winnipeg facility in December 2018 under a CFM56-7B support contract with a major North American airline—through offload agreements with GE Aviation. StandardAero Winnipeg is a GE Designated Fulfillment Center, as well as an independent TRUEngine authorized MRO provider.
The engine was overhauled at StandardAero’s Plant 6, which houses its dedicated CFM56 and CF34 lines, according to David Green,vice president and general manager of the CF34/CFM56 MRO operation.
Green reports that StandardAero launched its CFM56 program in June 2009 through a licensing and off-load agreement with GE Aviation in support of Canadian carrier WestJet under an exclusive 13-year OnPoint solution. Under the program, the first CFM56-7B engine was inducted in January 2010, followed in March 2011 by the facility’s first major life limited parts inspection for WestJet.
Since its introduction 10 years ago, says Green, StandardAero’s CFM56 line has expanded significantly, both in terms of footprint—which currently stands at 165,000 ft.2—and test cells, with two supporting the CFM56-7B program. He notes that within the past year, the MRO brought on stream an additional high speed tip grinder, as well as another eddy current inspection robot, and upgraded balance machines. “Our Winnipeg plant now has the capacity to support over 300 CFM56/CF34 shop visits, annually,” he reports.
Along with the added equipment, Green points out that StandardAero is using a reliability-based fleet management simulation tool. “Reflecting the value of big data, this provides our CFM56 team with extremely accurate fly-forward predictions of engine shop visits,” he explains. “This allows us to efficiently plan for engine and module inductions, allowing us to make best use of our available capacity in terms of manpower, tooling and material supply.”
Along that line, Green says StandardAero anticipates that the bow wave of shop visits for the CFM56-7B will continue growing into the mid-2020s with material in heavy demand. “Our strong relationship with GE Aviation as a Designated Fulfillment Center allows us to work closely with the OEM in terms of forecasting our material requirements, especially for those engines which we support through offload agreements,” he says. “We also have an extremely capable component repair and overhaul team which allows us to minimize material wastage wherever practical. At the same time, our internal engine trading teams enable us to make use of used serviceable material, when permissible.”
Asked about efforts to maximize on-wing time for the CFM56-7B, Green reports that StandardAero’s engineers will develop customized work scopes for each shop visit, using experience gained on the last 500 inducted engines. “Taking the opportunity during shop visits to refresh turbine blade coatings will significantly extend the life of the parts they protect,” he explains. “Also, taking advantage of the right service bulletin modifications, including, for example, advanced high pressure turbine shroud repairs will help extend time on wing following shop visits.”