Getting through the autumn years the smart way
Engine product: smart.life
The older an aircraft and its components, the more attention is paid to maintenance costs. This is especially the case when a partial fleet retirement is planned or underway. And it is also particularly true for all engines. But now, the Engine Services Division of Lufthansa Technik has developed smart.life, a new, flexible product for managing older engine models. The goal is to manage engines which have already reached the second half of their life-cycle in such a way that, until they are retired from flight operations, excessive maintenance work is avoided and costs are minimized accordingly. Complex repair procedures, for example, can be rejected in favor of simpler procedures, and the full replacement of modules and engines can be avoided.
An innovation with this new product is that it takes into account tailored work scope and the utilization of components with a limited product life, based on the remaining lifetime of the individual engine and also on the potential to produce a functional and usable engine from excess components or as a fusion of two defective engines. This means that complex and thus costly repair procedures can be avoided in favor of on-site and on-wing repairs. Another key aspect relates to leasing models, with particular value assigned to flexibility in supporting customers in the purchase and sale of engines as well as to the warehousing of the customer's own replacement engines, assemblies, and components.
The individual product building blocks can be combined with each other ad hoc and adapted to the individual customer situation. The product is thus optimally tailored to the airline customer's requirements and possibilities. The precise evaluation of the customer situation is dependent on such criteria as fleet size, the desired residual lifetime of the engines as this relates to fleet retirement plans, and legal restrictions on individual assemblies and engine components. The optimal combination of product building blocks relevant for the particular customer is beneficial to the customer and also provides for synergies within Lufthansa Technik.
First and foremost, though, it makes it possible to align smart.life in various ways to satisfy different customer requirements. This makes it possible to avoid unnecessary workshop visits, minimize maintenance costs, and provide flexibility for customer processes. The leasing model, individually tailored for each customer, ensures the fulfillment of existing contracts, the minimization of risk, and the maximization of liquidity and capital yields by incorporating tangible assets in the concepts jointly produced by Lufthansa Technik and the customer. As an alternative to classic engine overhaul, smart.life presents a completely new product, facilitating engine management for airline customers that is both flexible and optimized and that delivers significant savings potential.
The smart.life product represents a paradigm change in engine maintenance. The goal is no longer restricted to completely rebuilding an engine shortly before it is phased out. Instead, the goal is to maintain engines in such a way that when they are retired, they have as little product life left as is feasible, or that they fulfill the parameters defined by the customer. As a product, smart.life is primarily targeted at older engines. The focus is therefore currently on General Electric's CF680C2, Pratt & Whitney's PW4000-94, and CFM International's CFM 56-5A and CFM 56-5C engines. Over the long term, however, the target product group will encompass all other engine models as they reach the second half of their life-cycle.