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Maintaining the key elements | MRO Management

10 May 2023

Aircraft components are subject to immense wear and tear due to the extreme conditions they endure during flight. As such, regular maintenance and repair are vital to ensure the safety and reliability of aircraft systems, but this is a challenge amidst a struggling supply chain.

In the April issue of MRO Management, journalist Bernie Baldwin speaks to industry experts about testing and processes within component maintenance.


When components come into an MRO facility for inevitable repair or overhaul, technicians must assess the item to determine the cause of a defect before proceeding with a repair. Baldwin puts it simply stating ‘defective parts within the component are replaced, repaired…. assembled, tested, and inspected.’


A component can be either mechanical or electrical and different tests and processes apply to each category. SVP Operations AJW Technique, Louis Mallette, notes, ‘When dealing with mechanical components, we ensure we have a thorough understanding of the component’s operation. Visual and physical inspection and measurement play a key role, along with dynamic and stress testing.Mallette continues by explaining some similarities between mechanical and electrical components processes. 


Maintaining the key elements | MRO Management

Component testing is performed in the workshop environment, but tests are also done to emulate the actual aircraft operational environment. Alexander Nebauer, Component and Production Engineer at Lufthansa Technik says, ‘The spectrum of test requirements is almost as broad as the number of aircraft components inspected and repaired.’


Trey Bryson, SVP Operations at ATS (Aviation Technical Services) refers to the table which lists the test areas, components, and problems used by the company and Nebauer explains more about testing procedures used on specific components at Lufthansa Technik.


Margus Graf, Workshop Manager at Magnetic MRO goes into more depth about the testing processes used by his company. Baldwin covers the various methods in which MRO industry experts are adapting and changing operations within their businesses to deal with the lack of component availability and to better serve customers. The aviation industry is introducing digital transformation strategies and focusing on adapting in-house operations to cope with the difficulty in sourcing resources externally.


The article gives insight into 3D printing technology and how it is being used to improve processes and AAR’s Director of Operations and Engineering, Salim Khamze discusses solutions to overcome delays in TAT (turnaround time) and OTD (on-time delivery). Louis Mallette notes that the main impact on TAT is spare part availability, primarily driven by the global supply chain fracture.


He says, ‘Using digital tools to better understand demand variation to predict future requirements enables us to allocate parts … well in advance, allowing us to mitigate the increase in lead times. This dynamic forecasting using AI-supported digital tools captures our historical parts usage information at the lowest level.’


AJW’s Mallette concludes by explaining how ‘AJW Technique works with parts repair specialist vendors and the surplus market to offer customers alternative solutions to component repair. ‘


Baldwin draws the article to a close by commenting on the incredible flexibility of MRO providers striving to meet the needs of their customers.


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