EBACE Convention News

Pratt beefs up Euro mx, reports lower AOG times

 - May 12, 2009, 11:42 AM

Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has boosted its customer support network in both Germany and Switzerland by appointing two more recognized maintenance facilities. Both Aero-Dienst in Nuremberg, Germany, and Altenrhein Aviation in St. Gallen, Switzerland, are now approved to maintain PT6A, JT15D and PW300 engines.

The appointments were announced at the EBACE show yesterday by Pratt & Whitney Canada Customer Service Center Europe, which is a joint venture between PWC and MTU Maintenance. PWC also recently added a new PW300 facility in the UK with the appointment of Vector Aerospace.

According to Maria Della Posta, PWC’s vice president for customer service, the engine maker has continued to make advances in the way it supports more than 10,000 operators and 45,000 engines around the world. Two years ago, it opened the new Customer First Center (CFC) in Montreal to integrate and closely coordinate all aspects of customer service. Over the past year, the number of operators using the facility has increased by 30 percent.

“We have significantly improved return-to-service times since then and we are now better than 24 hours for most things,” she told EBACE Convention News. “We have been taking the help desk to the next level by bringing all aspects of technical, logistics and front line support under one umbrella. The priority is to return aircraft to service. It’s not just about getting parts to the customer in a hurry; we now track every aspect of the task to this common objective and the team are empowered to make whatever decisions are necessary to achieve this.”

The CFC team also helps operators to schedule maintenance in a more efficient way, making extensive use of engine health management tools. “They [PWC representatives and their customers] are all looking at the same data and this reduces the time needed to solve problems,” explained Della Posta. “If the problem is very complex and they need access to engineering resources, these are all around them. We are now trying to leverage engine health, such as oil and engine debris analysis and Web tools to be more and more proactive,” she said.

The CFC has a cellular-based data transmission unit as an option for operators to have engine data automatically downloaded and sent to PWC so that the pilot and maintenance team don’t have to do this manually. This goes straight to the CFC server and speeds up troubleshooting. It also gives PWC staff the information they need to be able to advise customers when it might make sense to bring forward work to coincide with other scheduled maintenance events. 

The manufacturer’s Amsterdam parts distribution center is still new and has reduced delivery times for European customers by 50 percent. Since it opened, PWC (Booth No. 328) has established other parts infrastructure in Singapore and Australia, and is now looking to add further spares capacity in both North America and Brazil.

“We are using this downtime [in the current industry slowdown] to reconnect with our customers and to make it clear to them that we are offering real value,” concluded Della Posta. PWC has also been advising operators who are now flying less that they need to be mindful of engine preservation work that still needs doing to keep engines serviceable.