Cutting-edge Engine Test Cell will allow AFI KLM E&M to offer a unique Very Big Engine maintenance portfolio.
After development of the VBE component repair capability at CRMA, the opening of the Constellation building at Paris Orly and installation of the ultra-sophisticated Electron beam welding machine at Schiphol, AFI KLM E&M is now going to implement a cutting-edge Engine Test Cell facility.
Twelve months from now this new Engine Test Cell (ETC) will be installed at Roissy CDG, replacing the existing one. The decision to implement this program is the logical continuation of a GE90 industrialization program launched by AFI KLM E&M almost a decade ago.
Following the in-sourcing of engine module maintenance operations, this next-generation testing capability was the remaining step towards a unique VBE maintenance offering. Anne Brachet, SVP Engines, Air France Industries, said: "AFI KLM E&M's substantial investment in VBEs, with the new Constellation Engine Shop and now this new ETC, puts us in an excellent position to provide a strong alternative to the OEM's services. This ETC will have capability for engine run-ups on the GP7200, GE90-94 and GE90-115 families of power plants. It will allow us to significantly shorten TATs, not only for our parent airlines, but also on behalf of our customers' fleets."
A customer office and data transfer system are also planned to allow customers to monitor engine tests in real time.
ETC operational in 2012
The ETC program involves a substantial €40 million investment, including the testing systems and the building housing them. Design and manufacture of the test cells have been commissioned from MDS Aero, which will carry out the air stream study and the data acquisition and dedicated engine systems. The study for the workshop and office components and overall coordination of the construction program will be handled by AFI KLM E&M's Real Estate Affairs department.
Ground-breaking took place in May, and the preparations for laying the building's foundations are now complete, with the building scheduled for delivery in April 2012. The first production engines are set to arrive in June of that year following a correlation stage in which a power plant will be tested by the manufacturer on a benchmark system and then on the AFI KLM E&M test cell to compare the test parameters and clear the ETC for operations.
About AFI KLM E&M
Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance, which joined forces following the Air France KLM merger, are world-leading multi-product MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) providers with a joint workforce of over 14,000, offering comprehensive technical support for airlines, ranging from engineering and line maintenance to engine overhaul, as well as the management, repair and supply of aircraft components, structured around a powerful logistics network. AFI KLM E&M supports more than 1,230 aircraft operated by 150 major international airlines.