Within the next twelve months, AFI KLM E&M's latest Engine Test Cell will come on stream. This high-tech MRO system will constitute a major asset for airlines using latest generation powerplants.
The construction of the Engine Test Cell at Roissy constitutes the final touch in industrializing GE90 overhaul operations, begun by AFI KLM E&M several years back. "With this facility, we will be able to handle GE90 maintenance operations in-shop from end-to-end, and will be strengthening our position as the first credible alternative to the manufacturer on the market," explains David Kachichian, Engine Test Cell project manager. "In this way, it will consolidate our position in relation to the other VBE families already in our customers' and in the AIR FRANCE KLM fleets, such as the GP7200, as well as those that will equip these fleets in the future: the Trent 1000, GEnx, and Trent XWB."
Slashing six days off TAT
By in-sourcing new production capacities, the Engine Test Cell will also shorten aircraft downtime and engine maintenance costs for the benefit of client airlines, as confirmed by Guido Panel, in charge of project change management. "In addition to in-sourcing engine testing activities, in-depth work on engine process and task analysis and improvement will enable us to shorten TAT relative to current TATs by six days as early as next June." The project includes a number of innovations, such as the deployment of a dedicated, real-time, engine overhaul data transfer feed to the customer. A system of transmitting engine parameters to engineering offices is also planned, which will enable automated, direct data exchanges, designed to continuously improve overhaul and/or testing policies for the benefit of clients.
A high value-added solution
In addition to all this, the test cell will be set up in a "green" environment - a building designed along HQE "High Environmental Quality" lines, offering optimized working conditions for staff and improved environmental performance. Engine water washing will also be carried out using a rainwater recovery system.
Constituting a technological leap forward and offering outstanding cost control, optimal performance and additional functions, the new Engine Test Cell will deliver a high value-added solution geared to the changing needs driven by the take-up of VBEs in worldwide airline fleets.