EBACE Convention News

P&WC is fine-tuning its global customer support

 - May 21, 2008, 12:05 PM

As part of ongoing initiatives to boost global customer support, Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 463) has appointed Gate V Aircraft Maintenance of Vienna, Austria, as a recognized maintenance facility to provide line maintenance support for PW500 and JT15D series engines. Gate V, a Part-145 approved maintenance organization, operates a 27,000-sq-ft hangar at Vienna International Airport.

The engine manufacturer has also opened two new parts distribution centers (PDCs) in Australia and Brazil as part of an ongoing effort to accelerate deliveries. Over the past two years, it has opened other PDCs in Amsterdam and Singapore. According to Maria Della Posta, P&WC’s vice president for customer support, the company can now get parts to customers in Western and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East in less than 12 hours, representing a 50 percent reduction in turnaround times.

P&WC has partnered with distribution specialists such as DHL to improve its parts performance. The company owns the inventory and concentrates on planning and forecasting of parts requirements for its customers, leaving the other partners to handle the rest of the distribution chain. The new PDCs will offer a large inventory of new parts, exchange accessories and line-replaceable units for all P&WC engine models in support of regional customers.

“What customers want is for our products to perform flawlessly, and for Pratt & Whitney Canada to be highly responsive and easy to do business with, especially in an AOG situation,” Della Posta told EBACE Convention News. This goal has lead to the OEM restructuring its customer support network to bring together technical, logistics and commercial departments.

“We have set ourselves a target to be able to return AOG aircraft to service within 24 hours,” Della Posta explained. “We have now achieved this in North America and, on average, we have reduced the time taken by half elsewhere.”

P&WC’s new Customer First center is at the heart of these improvements in support performance. “This is a one-stop shop in Montreal that tracks pending AOG issues that may become AOGs if we don’t track the situation fast enough,” said Della Posta. “We track all the calls that we make to operators so that, for example, if an aircraft is in for scheduled service and there are service bulletins pending we try to make sure we are proactive in getting these done then. This approach frees up field personnel to deal with customer relationships.”   

The engine maker is also still working at boosting product reliability. It wants new engines like the PW810 (for Cessna’s Citation Columbus) to match the 99.97 dispatch reliability now being achieved on the Falcon 2000EX jet’s PW308Cs.
Engineers are working on unscheduled removal rates. “This starts with the design phase when the aim is to get reliability out of the box,” said Della Posta. “We design things to be easy to be inspected and all engine parameters are automatically relayed to us from the digital engine controls.” The P&WC engine health monitoring system has analytical capability and extracts out abnormalities before alerting customers to any potential problems.