Up-to-date and ergonomically efficient, AFI KLM E&M's brand new engine test cell "Zephyr" opens up enormous opportunities by leveling up the Group's range of services and delivering substantial benefits for customers.
Built with a €40 million investment, the new engine test cell allows AFI KLM E&M to internalize a crucial step in the new-generation engine maintenance cycle. "In addition to the existing facilities in Amsterdam and Paris, we can assure our customers, with this new test cell, that we control the entire chain of engine maintenance and overhaul from end to end, including for Very Big Engines and new-generation powerplants," said Vincent d'Andrea, head of industrial development for the Engines business. "This means that we have the right resources, tools and skills for processing a Very Big Engine from handover right up to the test phase, as well as repairing defective modules or subassemblies, without the need to subcontract. Such a comprehensive maintenance portfolio is unique for an MRO player, making AFI KLM E&M the only reliable, trustworthy and high-performance alternative to support services provided by engine manufacturers".
After spending the summer performing final adjustments, validation and correlation tests, the new engine test cell is now fully operational. It is currently authorized for GE90-94 and -115 type engines, and will be handling the CFM family by the end of the year 2012. The test cell (from the Canadian company MDS Aero) is also configured in order to be soon able to handle engines of the GP7000 range as well as new powerplants equipping the next aircraft generation on short, medium and long-haul.
"Our new engine test cell is already opening up powerful prospects in terms of performance," says Vincent d'Andrea. "On average, it shortens by four days the global engine overhaul TAT, and further enhances the flexibility provided to our customers seeking solutions to their specific operational needs".
Agencies in charge of aviation security in Europe (EASA) and the U.S. (FAA) have already issued their respective licenses to this new facility.