HAMBURG—Capacity constraints on engines old and new are still challenging the engine repair segment worldwide, but repair specialists are targeting greater efficiencies in the management of their shops to address the issue.
“There are certainly constraints in the market at the moment but this differs depending on the engine type,” says Katia Diebold-Widmer, head of marketing at Germany-headquartered engine specialist MTU Maintenance at a discussion panel at Aviation Week Network’s Aero-Engines Europe. “On some engine types there may still be some capacity while others are extremely tight - particularly newer engine types.” Like the majority of facilities worldwide, capacity at MTU’s engine locations in Germany, Canada and China is close to full. Diebold-Widmer believes the unforeseen scenario of older engines flying for longer has partly contributed to this, citing models such as the CF6-80 as an example.
However, the constrained status of the market has led to some opportunities for service providers. Klaus-Peter Leinauer, vice president sales Europe at SR Technics, an authorised repair station for Pratt & Whitney and CFM (PW4000-94’’,-100’’, CFM56-5B, -5C and -7B) and fuel components, says that there is a shortage of shop visit capacity in general and SR Technics did anticipate the demand. “We are currently investing in new equipment and growing our workforce to accommodate the larger quantity of engines,” he says.
He says SR Technics has focused on greater efficiencies in its shop, utilizing lean practices at its Zurich engine facility in order to combat capacity concerns and better manage suppliers. “We are aiming for a more efficient shop which in turn can lead to more slots and greater capacity,” he says, noting Switzerland as being one of the highest labor markets in Europe.
Abu Dhabi-based Turbine Services & Solutions Aerospace has also targeted improving the way its engine shop is run. “Companies need to be agile and leaner in order to create new capacity slots,” says Jacques Juneau, general manager at TS&S. “It has also never been more important to understand your customer – we have been able to plan with them exactly when their engine needs to be serviced.”