Product Divisions: Engines
Lufthansa Technik is one of the world's leading manufacturer-independent providers of aircraft engine maintenance services. Aircraft engines are exposed to great stress. Thus, every individual engine in a four-engine widebody jet such as the Airbus A380 generates a thrust of up to 34 tons. Continuous inspection and maintenance are necessary to guarantee the required level of reliability when these huge forces are in play. Before an engine goes to the workshop to be overhauled, it will have spent some 12,000 hours in the air and flown a distance of almost ten million kilometers. Every day it will be in use for an average of twelve hours.
To improve the overhaul and repair of engine parts, Lufthansa Technik's engineers and mechanics are constantly developing new procedures. One technique they have developed, for example, is the "Advanced Recontouring Process– (ARP) to restore worn compressor blades. Engine blades are exposed to constant wear and tear. The dust particles that are introduced with the airflow cause heavy erosion to the leading edges. In particular, deformation of the blades in the compressor can lead to enormous loss of performance, resulting in significantly higher fuel consumption. Under the ARP procedure, the extent of wear on the engine blades is first of all measured using a laser beam. A computer works out the new blade contour, which is then applied by a welding robot and ground to the original contour by a grinding robot. Due to the as-new contour and the resulting cleaner flow of air through the engine, engines repaired with the ARP technology can remain in service more than 1,000 hours longer, while at the same time consuming less fuel and hence having lower emissions of pollutants.
In the past many engine parts had to be replaced at predetermined points in time for safety reasons, irrespective of their technical condition. Already in the 1970s engineers from Lufthansa Technik developed a maintenance concept based on the constant monitoring of important structural elements, under which technicians review and analyze the technical parameters of the engines at regular intervals. In this way, parts can be replaced depending on their condition. As a result minor problems on an engine are identified and rectified early on before they can lead to substantial damage. This saves the aircraft operators a lot of money and gives extra security to the passengers, as faults become apparent early on and do not suddenly occur in midair or are only noticed when the next planned maintenance event is carried out. Thanks to Engine Condition Monitoring (ECM), which is industry-standard today, it has been possible to extend the maintenance intervals significantly.
The extensive capacity of the engine shop at Lufthansa Technik's main Hamburg base is supplemented by international production facilities. For example, its subsidiary AERO Alzey, near Frankfurt, overhauls small jet and turboprop engines. The Lufthansa Technik Group includes three further subsidiaries or joint ventures that specialize in the maintenance and repair of individual components of aero engines: Lufthansa Technik Intercoat of Germany, Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon of Ireland and Airfoil Services Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia.