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AMES on target for brighter future

Posted 26 April 2017 · Add Comment

Barbara Saunders reports as AMES prepares to fire up the Gulf's first commercial autoclave composite repair offering.

Aerostructures Middle East Services FZCO (AMES), the engine nacelle and aerostructure maintenance joint venture between Safran Nacelles and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M), is taking a stand-alone booth at MRO Middle East 2017.
It will be the company’s fourth MRO Middle East outing and the booth will focus heavily on its new autoclave composite repair offering – the first of its kind in the Gulf.
The company has installed an autoclave at its state-of-the-art repair shop in Jebel Ali, Dubai, which will become operational in March, raising the regional benchmark on highly effective rapid-response aircraft maintenance solutions. It also gives the region its first radome repair solution.
“This removes the need to outsource to Europe or the USA,” said Vincent D’Andrea, SVP engineering & maintenance components products for AFI KLM E&M.
D’Andrea said the autoclave could help save as much as 10 days off major repair schedules, resulting in huge transportation and scheduling savings for clients. “This greatly improves our operation for airlines in the Middle East with significant saving on local turnaround times.”
The autoclave, which was proven in previous service with AFI KLM E&M at Le Bourget, France, and has undergone a full retrofit and modification programme, will also, according to Philippe Couteaux, vice president, customer support & services, Safran Nacelles, allow AMES to expand its product offering. It marks a strategic growth era in the company’s support activity and positions it for new work with airframe components, he added.
Building on a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate, along with the new autoclave for composites and its skilled on-site repair engineering team, AMES can now accommodate a growing volume of nacelle MRO work, while also creating capabilities for composite repairs on aerostructure parts such as radomes, winglets and flight control surfaces.
Its executives also haven’t ruled out the use of the autoclave for outsource manufacturing should demand and capacity allow.
Complementing AMES’ core business portfolio of services for Safran-produced nacelles and thrust reversers on Rolls-Royce Trent 700 and Trent 500 engines that equip Airbus A330s and A340s, as well as the A320 family’s CFM International CFM56 power plant, are capabilities covering Safran Nacelles’ latest products, such as the nacelle system for the Airbus A320neo version, and the future introduction of the company’s nacelle system on the A330neo.
“AMES is also uniquely positioned to accommodate the very large nacelles and thrust reversers for General Electric’s GE90 engines on Boeing 777s, along with the Engine Alliance GP7200s and Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines that power Airbus A380s,” said Couteaux.
The joint venture has also successfully developed on-wing support activities that involve the deployment of its teams to serve clients across the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, while its turnaround for small repairs has shortened following the signing of the delegation of authority (DOA) for its in-house engineering, which allows it to validate minor engineering repairs at the workshop, making redundant the need to refer to the HQ in France. “We now have a certain degree of autonomy on the validation of smaller repairs,” said D’Andrea.
AMES opened in 2010 and currently employs 20 staff with a 50% increase envisaged by 2020, according to Couteaux.
Meanwhile, the company, which can also serve India from Jebel Ali, can foresee a similar operation elsewhere if demand requires. “Proximity to the customer is our value proposition,” said D’Andrea. “Inventory is now too expensive for airlines.”

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