San Francisco--Lufthansa Technik continues to expand its Hamburg engine facility in preparation for the first shop visits of the CFM LEAP engines, and the application of technologies and repair methods for new-generation engine structural module case components, such as high-pressure turbine cases and low-pressure turbine frames.

The facility expansion includes a new €7 million ($7.8 million) competence center, which was opened in January 2018, as part of Lufthansa Technik’s existing Engine Parts & Accessories Repair (EPAR) infrastructure.  The competence center occupies approximately 1,500 sq. meters, plus another 2,000 sq. meters of shop space in shared service centers in the same building. The shared service centers provide heat treatment and plasma spray applications, as examples. An additional 500 sq. meters of space is slated for 2020 to increase total capacity for engine case repairs, which is the competence center’s primary focus.

“The building will be for all the EPAR focused products in Hamburg, including all the relevant engine case repair processes,” says Marcel Rose, head of competence center cases. In that regard, he points out that some €1.5 million ($1.7 million) has been budgeted for new product introductions and repair development--including machines and new technologies—for process improvement, process stability or increased overall capacity.

“Examples include a new electron beam welding machine, 5-achs (Axis)-milling, and coordinate measuring machines (CMM),” Rose explains. Repair development, he notes, pertains to “special processes,” such as electron beam welding or cold gas spray, to repair new defects, while “new product introductions” are mainly for new engine types, such as the diffuser case for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100 geared turbofan

“We have a lot of new products that we have already introduced, or are in the process of introducing, especially on new engines such as the LEAP, PW1000 or Trent XWB,” says Rose. “We specialize in the repair of parts for various engine types, including the V2500, CFM56, GEnx, Trent, and LEAP, and service a broad range of engine components.”

He adds that the MRO will have increased the workforce dedicated to engine case repair by approximately 25 people from 2018 through 2019, with plans to add more based on the growth path in the coming years.

Lufthansa Technik obtained the first CFM Branded Service Agreement in February 2018. “Based on this, and the company’s extensive experience with entry into service support for new aircraft and engine types, we are already developing numerous added-value solutions, especially for the teething problems—the technical issues that can occur during the early stages of operations,” says Marc Wilken, senior director product sales, Lufthansa Group key account management & engine leasing. “Right now, we are ramping up our capability and capacity for all MRO related services for the LEAP-1A engines and look forward to having the first LEAP-1A in our facility in Hamburg towards the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.”