A global MRO network for the PW1000G series of Geared Turbofan™ engines

A global MRO network for PW1000G engines is in the making. Customers will benefit from high-quality maintenance and repairs and first-class service.

01.2018 | Text: Nicole Geffert

Text:
Nicole Geffert has been working as a free­lance journalist covering topics such as re­search and science, money and taxes, and education and careers since 1999.

The Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) is taking the market by storm: airlines around the world have already ordered more than 8,000 of these energy-effi­cient propul­sion systems. MTU Aero Engines works in partner­ship with Pratt & Whitney (P&W) on the PW1000G engine series, which five major air­craft manu­fac­turers have selected for new air­craft programs. To offer cus­tomers the same high standards of quality, effi­ciency and inno­vation in the repair and main­tenance of the engines, P&W is joining forces with its partners to set up a global network for PW1000G after­market services.

“The network offers the full range of main­tenance, repair and over­haul (MRO) services for PW1000G engines,” says Dr. Christian Winkler, Program Manager PW1100G-JM and PW1400G-JM at MTU. In 2015, P&W, MTU and Japanese Aero Engines Corpo­ration (JAEC) signed a coopera­tion agree­ment formal­izing their agree­ment to collabo­rate on main­tenance services for the PW1100G-JM—the engine powering the A320neo—through the Inter­national Aero Engines (IAE) LLC joint venture.

Thanks to the MRO network for GTF engines, cus­tomers will have access to shops with avail­able capacities that provide expert, high-quality services per­formed by experi­enced personnel. Every shop offers the same high level of exper­tise in disas­sembly, assembly and testing. “We guar­antee consist­ently high quality standards across all facilities,” says Dr. Rainer Fink, After­market Manager PW1100G-JM at MTU. The top priority for each repair shop in the net­work is ensuring quick turn­around times and punctual delivery of the engines. “Each shop special­izes in certain repair tech­niques, which means that compo­nents in need of repair are always in the hands of the experts best qualified for the job.”

A PW1100G-JM high-pressure compressor blisk is masked prior to plasma spraying. Hover over the image for a bigger view

A PW1100G-JM high-pressure compressor blisk is masked prior to plasma spraying.

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A PW1100G-JM high-pressure compressor blisk is masked prior to plasma spraying.

The PW1100G-JM assembly line at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Connecticut. Hover over the image for a bigger view

The PW1100G-JM assembly line at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Connecticut.

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The PW1100G-JM assembly line at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Connecticut.

A PW1100G-JM in the test cell at MTU Maintenance Hannover. These engines power the A320neo aircraft family. Hover over the image for a bigger view

A PW1100G-JM in the test cell at MTU Maintenance Hannover. These engines power the A320neo aircraft family.

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A PW1100G-JM in the test cell at MTU Maintenance Hannover. These engines power the A320neo aircraft family.

A PW1500G powerplant for the Bombardier C Series in the test cell at MTU in Munich. Hover over the image for a bigger view

A PW1500G powerplant for the Bombardier C Series in the test cell at MTU in Munich.

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A PW1500G powerplant for the Bombardier C Series in the test cell at MTU in Munich.

Bringing out the best of every shop

All partners bring their strengths to the net­work and MTU—as one of the companies involved in devel­opment and pro­duction for the PW1000G program—is no exception. Thanks to its manu­facturing expertise and high-tech pro­ducts, such as the high-speed low-pressure turbine, MTU is making a valu­able contri­bution to the GTF engine program. In addition, its subsidiary MTU Main­tenance brings to the table over 35 years of success, experi­ence and exper­tise in the inde­pendent MRO business. MTU Main­tenance Hannover has been qualified to carry out PW1100G-JM engine main­tenance since 2016 and is certified to provide MRO services as part of the new main­tenance network.

MTU is even helping to build a new facility specifi­cally for GTF engine repairs. In December 2017, MTU and Luft­hansa Technik set up Engine Main­tenance Europe—EME Aero for short. This MRO joint venture will be located in Poland (see also article “Aviation expertise in Poland”).

As things stand, EME Aero is the youngest member of the network. Other partici­pating MRO shops include P&W Columbus Engine Center (Georgia, USA), Christchurch Engine Center (New Zealand), a joint venture be­tween P&W and Air New Zealand, and P&W Eagle Services Asia (Singapore), a joint venture between P&W and Singapore Air­lines Engi­neering Company, as well as the MRO shop operated by JAEC consor­tium partner IHI Corporation (Mizuho, Japan). The experts at each facility are constantly in touch and sharing their expertise with one another. As Fink says, “This is an example of a genuine partner­ship working for the benefit of our cus­tomers and allowing us to offer them the best possible service.”

Visual inspection at the PW1100G-JM fan assembly line.

Predictable repair costs and first-class service every time

Most new generation engines, such as the PW1000G series, are purchased with main­tenance contracts directly with the OEM (Original Equipment Manu­facturer), which takes overall respon­sibility for the engine. A large number of cus­tomers have signed a Fleett Hour Agree­ment (FHA) when purchasing GTF engines. “The customer pays a fixed rate for every hour the engine flies, which means they can easily plan their repair costs. Responsibility lies with the OEM to cover any costs that exceed the amount agreed in the contract for the defined scope of main­tenance or repair,” explains Michael Hauser, Head of Main­tenance Cost Management at MTU.

There are several different types of FHA: For example, with the pay-as-you-go agree­ment, the amount the customer owes is calcu­lated by multi­plying the negotiated flight hour rate by the number of hours flown. With the pay-at-shop-visit agree­ment, the cus­tomer only pays the amount owed at the next shop visit. “Airlines that lease rather than buy new-genera­tion engines also benefit from main­tenance contracts with the OEM,” says Hauser. “Leasing companies expect their engines to be returned in excellent condition at the end of the contract period. So, to make sure that they can comply with these terms, air­lines sign MRO agree­ments directly with the OEM.”

Time-and-material contracts are another option, whereby the customer is charged for the costs of labor and materials. If air­lines have their own shops, they are guaran­teed a max­imum sum for repair work (Main­tenance Cost Guarantee). “Whichever contract the customer goes for, they can always rely on the first-class service provided by the net­work partners,” says Winkler.

This service guaran­tee also applies to engine leasing. MTU is a partner in PW1100G-JM Engine Leasing, LLC, which is an IAE company and the IAE consor­tium partners are also those respon­sible for producing the PW1100G-JM. Now, PW1100G-JM Engine Leasing is setting up a pool of spare and lease PW1100G-JMs, which cus­tomers can turn to, if need be, to ensure the smooth and uninter­rupted operation of their fleets.

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