As the GE90 ages, new needs for repairs emerge that are more complex and frequent than previously, involving corrosion treatment and composite repair in particular. As the only operator so far certified to handle them, the engine manufacturer went looking for a partner to cope with the future volume of demand, as the global fleet is extremely numerous. AFI KLM E&M answered the call and has now included this new capability in its portfolio.
The marriage of Engines and Components know-how
The choice of site naturally went to the HELIOS facility, the cutting-edge aerostructures unit located near the Roissy Engine shops. "We have set up a dedicated team comprising GE90 experts and composites and aerostructures specialists," explains HELIOS manager, Yan Muntz. "They have all attended additional training courses with the OEM. Thanks to optimized processes and working methods, the team enjoys considerable autonomy to ensure greater activity responsiveness."
New industrial resources come on stream
Large-scale investment has built up HELIOS's industrial capacity. A hoist, and planning and sandblasting cabin have been installed to move and deal with the two-ton module. Concurrently, this July, AFI KLM E&M will be inaugurating a new external storage hangar specifically for HELIOS activity, which will also be useful for the FSM. In short, both in human and equipment terms, the site is ready to take the increase activity in its stride.
Global capacity doubled
Following a recruitment drive and partial launch of production in Autumn 2018, the activity was officially inaugurated in January this year. "From now on, all the modules brought to the Roissy engines shop will be sent to us, regardless of whether they belong to our parent airline fleet or one of our third-party customers. GE is sending us its first module in mid-June and is likely to outsource a dozen modules to us in 2019."
The objective for the FSM by year -end is a turnaround time (TAT) of 70 days to ensure greater module and hence engine availability.