Getting the Most Out Of Your Engines

Getting the Most Out Of Your Engines

Is maintenance an easy job? The typical engine has five modules and thirty thousand parts. It comes into an MTU shop every five to seven years and stays on average for 58 days. The engine is worked on for more than 3,000 man hours. But, there’s just one problem: the typical engine doesn’t exist.

Each engine is flown in a different manner, in a different environment and by a different operator. So of course it has individual needs. It is about serving those needs in the best possible way and without any waste. For instance, in Asia, we see a lot of air pollution affecting the engines, as well as areas with high altitude, dust, humidity, and heavy rains. All of these factors increase wear and cost.

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul

For operators of newer engines, it makes sense to look at increasing on-wing times as a way of reducing cost. This can be achieved through services such as optimized fleet management—to ensure the optimal and most cost-effective removal time—customized work scoping, alternative repairs, and engine trend monitoring.

When it comes to older engines, the focus is on reducing cost for the remaining service life of the engine. Sometimes that is a customer saying ‘I need 7,000 more cycles, can you build me an engine to fly that, or provide an exchange engine that suits my operational require-ments,’ and other times it is us saying to the customer, ‘a full overhaul is unnecessary cost due to your short operational requirements, how about a lease engine.’ Of course, this can be applied to entire fleets too. 

Then it becomes an exciting cost puzzle with greater rewards in terms of cost of operating the fleet.

As the large narrow-body V2500 and CFM56 engine fleets are aging, a dedicated approach to mature engine maintenance is extremely relevant for operators. As engines, MRO costs will increase due to need for heavier shop visits and material replacement. Indeed, many will be retired over the next 10 years as the 737 Max and A320 neos enter into service with airlines.

"When It Comes To Older Engines, the Focus Is On Reducing Cost for the Remaining Service Life of the Engine"

Asset Value

Partnership is a really important word to us at MTU Maintenance. We have been steadily increasing our global presence and proximity to customers. For instance, we officially opened an MTU Maintenance Lease Services office in Singapore in September. We under-stand that operators increasingly require services tailored to their specific needs in order to control and optimize cost. Additionally, we know that residual value is key to lessors and asset managers. They rely on smooth transitions and intelligent exit strategies to maximize utilization and value of their assets. Having someone on the ground where customers are located and to take care of those needs quickly and efficiently is important to us.


Furthermore, to better suit customers and meet market demand, we are expanding world-wide capacity by 50 percent in the next five years. This includes a new complex of around 22,000 square meters by 2020 at MTU Maintenance Hannover and a 50 percent expansion at MTU Maintenance Zhuhai. The LEAP program was also introduced here in September 2019. Additionally, MTU Maintenance Canada is moving into a new facility that will expand capacity by 60 percent, and is in the process of introducing the mature CF6-80C2 program into its portfolio. Further, Airfoil Services Sdn. Bhd., a joint venture with Lufthansa Technik is also being expanded by 5,200 square metres. Additionally, a new logistics center was opened at MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg in June 2019, where a resulting reorganization of the shop will create 30 percent more capacity at the facility.

Alongside this expansion at existing locations, EME Aero has been constructed specifically for the geared turbofan family in Poland and will work up to a capacity of 400 shop visits per year. The first engine will be inducted prior to year end 2019. Additionally, a new green-field repair site, MTU Maintenance Serbia is in planning for 400,000 repair hours to meet the growing demand for engine component repairs worldwide from 2022.

This capacity growth combined with expected order volume of well over 6 billion USD in 2020 is a great basis for the coming years for MTU.

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