Fast 5: Revima's Landing Gear Spike, Investments
Olivier Legrand, Revima’s president, spoke with Aviation Week’s Lee Ann Shay during MRO Middle East in Dubai about landing gear and APU maintenance, a new capability, a new facility and investments.
What are you projections for 2022?
I think 2022 should be close to pre-COVID levels, about 80%, which is a 30% growth versus 2021. We ended 2021 about 15% above 2020. And we expect to be back to 2019 levels in 2023. Most of the growth has been driven by landing year. Last year was a record year for landing gear and this year again will be a record year. APU work is lagging a bit behind because of lower aircraft utilization rates and the fact there is no calendar based removals for APUs like there is for landing gears, but it's ramping up quite significantly now. So, shops are very full.
Which landing gear models are driving the spike?
The Airbus A320s are quite busy. But we're also very busy on Boeing 777s and on the freighters that are still very active. We weren't expecting 747s to sustain as much activity as they did. It’s pretty much across the board, and there is some maintenance that was delayed during the pandemic which is now happening.
For APUs, we've been able to offset the reduction in volumes because of the agreement we signed with Pratt & Whitney last year (Feb. 2021), when we took over the small APUs—such as the APS500 and APS1000—for which we are now licensed through end of life so that helped fuel a significant recovery in 2021.
How’s the Thailand facility progressing?
We actually finished our facility in mid 2020, but we weren't able to really start operating until last year because we couldn't get the facility certified due to pandemic slow downs. So, we really started operations in summer 2021. We are ramping up and are projecting significant growth for the facility this year—about four times the 2021 levels. We expect by the end of this quarter to be fully autonomous in Thailand--all plating and machining should be finished and ready to go.
The work will be split between A320ceo and 737NG gears. We’re looking at different models down the road, but that’s the focus initially.
Are you planning to add any capabilities this year?
We are introducing the 787 landing gear. The first gear is in process in our facility in France. It should be out next month. It’s a 12-year calendar item and it doesn’t include chrome. So it withstands wear much better than chrome gears, but if it requires to be redeposited, that requires an HVOF (high-velocity oxygen fuel) installation, which is something we’re looking at investing in the years to come.
It’s basically a robot with a high-velocity projection system, which costs several millions. It’s probably the future for landing gear because the newer generation gears are not manufactured with chrome.
Speaking of investment, any other things you’re looking at?
We’re investing in new machines this year—replacing older ones—and we’re also introducing a new ERP system, IFS. We implemented it in Thailand and next is in France.