Lufthansa Technik said it is readying its Hamburg engine center for future growth by investing in new technologies in its engine services division.
The German aftermarket provider said around €7 million ($8.6 million) has been invested in a new competence center specializing in engine case repair work along with an X-ray facility for a broad range of engine components.
Lufthansa Technik said new tools and equipment will form the basis of its new repair procedures in Hamburg. Over time, it believes there is room for the variety of engine types overhauled at the facility to increase. Lufthansa Technik also said the engine division assumes orders for the component services will double over the next three years.
For the X-ray center, Lufthansa Technik said it will be able to screen the flexibility of components in both digital and analog form. This will range from small engine blades up to future engine cases with a diameter of 3.5 meters, it said. The MRO already has plans to further extend capacity at the X-ray center with construction earmarked to begin in 2019.
“Our new center of excellence bundles the competence needed for around 450 repair procedures, some of which are very complex,” said Marcel Rose, head of the competence center in the engine services division at Lufthansa Technik. “With our employees' know-how and the tools and equipment we now have available, we have created a foundation to meet the highest quality standards even for future engine types.”
The investment announcements follow the readying of its Hamburg facility for the arrival of the new CFM International LEAP-1A and -1B, which will power the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX respectively. Lufthansa Technik confirmed in December 2017 that the narrowbody successor to the CFM56 family engines is expected to enter its main base from next year.
Other engine activities outside of Hamburg include Lufthansa Technik partnering up with fellow German company MTU Aero Engines for overhaul and repair services on Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G-series geared turbofan engines. Engine Maintenance Europe, known as EME Aero for short, will begin operating in Poland from 2020.
Another engine overhaul JV in Poland will be with GE Aviation, focusing on the GEnx-2B used on Boeing 747-8 aircraft and the next-generation GE9X variant for the Boeing 777X. The facility in the south west of the country is currently under construction and scheduled to commence operating in September 2018.