As airlines continue to watch engine expenses, MROs are being asked by their customers to design customized approaches to service and provide material solutions. The conversation is forcing MRO vendors to search for answers outside their facilities.
As airlines continue to watch engine expenses, MROs are being asked by their customers to design customized approaches to service and provide material solutions. The conversation is forcing MRO vendors to search for answers outside their facilities.“A decade ago, the focus of engine maintenance contracts was on supporting the customer—at the time of the shop visit,” says Kristin Kenny, director of Pay Per Hour Programs for Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Now, contracts must be structured to take into account a complete understanding of the customer's operation.”
Blowing sand in the Middle East and high levels of airborne particulate matter from industrial pollution in Asia are parts of the impetus behind a new generation of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) designed to better protect engine components and withstand corrosive elements.
TBC corrosion is becoming a growing issue, specifically attributable to the build-up of calcium magnesium aluminosilicates (CMAS).
As more nacelles are made of composites, their repair market is becoming quite diverse.
“Fleet transitions are adding complexity, failure modes vary as aircraft age, and operators are customizing work scopes to fit their needs,” says Meredith Siegfried, CEO of Nordam, a major nacelle OEM and repair specialist.
Siegfried says most of today's nacelle work stems from mature aircraft, which generally employ comparable technologies and materials, so today's primary focus is on doing the work faster and cheaper.
Software upgrades, for the most part, are now an on-wing proposition. But, as Mitch Klink of the Avionics Maintenance Conference explains, all software modifications—and the media/hardware to transfer them—should conform to the baseline version of the Arinc 615 protocol to allow the use of portable data-loaders for on-wing applications. He cautions that, often when these upgrades are performed on-wing, the LRUs containing the new software versions become non-interchangeable with the LRUs containing the previous software versions.
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