TurbineAero opened its auxiliary power unit (APU) repair facility outside of Bangkok that will allow it to almost double its capacity in the region. The custom-built $10.7-million facility’s layout should help it increase efficiencies and decrease turnaround times, as well as expand repairs to further vertically integrate its APU aftermarket offerings.
TurbineAero plans to repair 162 APUs at its Amata City Industrial Estate facility in Chonburi, Thailand and 190 next year, although the facility has the capacity for 300, says Peter Gille, VP and general manager Asia. Because the facility is located in this free zone, TurbineAero can complete the customs declarations itself, which, says makes imports and exports faster, he says.
Since The Gores Group purchased Triumph Air Repair-Chandler, Triumph Engines-Tempe and parts of Triumph Aviation Services Asia-Thailand and combined them under the TurbineAero brand, TurbineAero has been expanding its offerings around APUs with the aim to provide a full, integrated service with parts choice—including OEM, PMA and DER repairs, says Donna Chase, VP of sales and marketing.
Since weaving the companies together, TurbineAero has leveraged engineering capabilities in the U.S. and Thailand to actively expand its repair offerings, she says.
Continually developing repairs, along with offering PMA parts, has helped avoid common parts shortages that are common in the industry for APUs such as the Honeywell GTCP331, she says.
“We make strategic (parts) buys every quarter,” so the MRO has OEM and PMA parts in stock to satisfy customers who want pure OEM or alternative sources for bigger cost savings, says Chase.
In the first quarter of 2020, TurbineAero’s Thailand facility plans to add Boeing 777 APU (GTCP331-500) repair capability, which it offers now in the U.S. It also plans to “deepen piece part and accessories repairs” next year, says Gille.
The new 90,000 sq. ft. facility includes three test cells, two of which are fitted out, says Gilles.
He adds that the company is in the process of modifying a test cell, acquiring the tools and training its workforce to prepare for the 777 APU addition.
The Thai facility also is considering adding some pneumatics and avionics repairs in 2021-22, he says.
TurbineAero Thailand’s customer split is about 65% from Asia-Pacific, 25% from Europe and 10% from the Middle East and Africa, says Gille. Some of its Asian customers include Thai Airways, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, EVA Air, China Southern Airlines and China Airlines.