NBAA Convention News

Timken Aerospace a Growing Player in the Turbine Engine MRO Market

 - October 20, 2013, 1:30 AM
One of two turbine engine test cells at the Timken Aerospace plant in Mesa, Ariz., can test PT6A or T53 engines interchangeably. The vertical exhaust gas vents are used for the PT6A; the horizontal vent discharges exhaust from the T53 tailpipe.

Timken, known for manufacturing precision roller bearings for a variety of industries, is highlighting its wide range of aerospace products and services at the NBAA show (Booth No. 1327), in particular an expanded turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability.

To highlight the latter, during the show Timken is unveiling a giveaway that is not just a cell phone or aircraft model, but an incentive for prospective customers to request quotes on engine overhauls and become entered in a drawing to win a significant prize to be awarded in the first quarter of 2014. The drawing is part of a program designed to make operators more aware of Timken’s turbine-engine MRO services, according to Larry Shiembob, director of Timken Aerospace aftermarket activities. Show attendees are invited to enter the drawing by providing information on their engines that are due for overhaul in the next 12 months.

Timken is a multinational organization which, while remaining a leader in bearing technology, is active in steel-making, precision components, lubrication, seals, manufacturing of parts (both for OEMs and serving the aftermarket with PMA products), parts remanufacture and repair and industrial services. The company’s aerospace activities are concentrated at a manufacturing and MRO plant in Mesa, Ariz., and bearing reconditioning is done at a facility in Los Alamitos, Calif. Timken Aerospace also offers overhauls on a variety of engines, including the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and PT6T and Honeywell T53 series.

Timken is in Las Vegas primarily to “spread the word that we’re in the turbine engine overhaul business,” said Shiembob. “We also want it more widely known that we overhaul and manufacture drive-train components for Bell products, specializing in the UH-1, 204/205 and 212 series helicopters.” He added that Timken has resumed making available reduction gears for the PT6A, now “with significant improvements, which lower the cost of an overhaul.”

The company has put into operation a pair of turbine engine test cells at its facility near Falcon Field in Mesa. Both are remotely operated and can be run simultaneously from a common control room and each can be quickly set up to test either PT6A or T53 engines. The engines are mounted in a hermetically sealed air-conditioned enclosure, which keeps engine intake air at a uniform temperature. Testing is no longer temperature limited even when outside readings reach 110 deg F.

Shiembob added that Timken provides replacement parts for many fixed-wing aircraft, stressing that “the majority of those parts are not bearings.” He added that the company operates bearing manufacturing and renewal plants in 20 countries in addition to the U.S. and that Timken supplies bearings to all major landing gear manufacturers. He said that doing engine overhauls and parts production at its Mesa plant sets Timken apart from its competition. “You won’t find both those activities in a single source elsewhere. All of our parts have a significant price advantage because we focus on those we can make or repair most efficiently.”

Timken’s capability to make and offer both OEM and PMA parts is unique, according to Shiembob, and customers can elect to purchase either type for their engine overhauls and repairs. “Our parts are equal to or better than those that come directly from Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, as required for FAA certification,” he said, “because we develop the certification specs and manufacturing procedures under close FAA observation. We’re not just copying a drawing.”