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September 2018

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Air New Zealand has teamed up with local company Zenith Tecnica to investigate 3D printed metal parts for aircraft and tools. Zenith specialises in the design and manufacture of 3D printed titanium and other metals using a technology called electron beam melting (EBM). The EBM machines are manufactured by Arcam EBM, a GE Additive company.


So far, they have printed prototype metal framing for the airline’s Business Premier cabin, to quickly test new concepts and ideas. Air New Zealand first began its foray into the area of 3D printing in 2016 and has now moved into items like improved small parts for IFE screens which save cost and time, as well as working with new partners such as ST Engineering Aerospace on more advanced parts. The airline is also exploring the boundaries of new processes with Auckland University, Victoria University of Wellington and other technology companies. Most recently it has been using a 3D laser scanner for creating parts' designs, tool designs and interior modelling.


BCO Aviation has recently provided its micro-perforated printed adhesive film for livery changes, carried out with Sabena aerospace, to four Boeing 737-400s from ASL Airlines Hungary. ASL Aviation Group also opted for BCO Aviation adhesive branding solutions to customise five other aircraft this year. It also provided film for four A320 and two 737 cover up projects for TUI Airlines Belgium.


FL Technics has earned FAA Part-145 Air Repair Station certification #47DY377D for its facility at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. This certificate allows FL Technics Indonesia to provide MRO services for aircraft registered in the United States.


Lufthansa Technik Group has announced that 158 young people are now starting either traditional or dual-study training programmes. In parallel, the selection process for 2019 is already underway at All told, Lufthansa Technik in Germany will now be home to 582 young people on their way to professions in technical aircraft services or aircraft logistics.


Beginning in 2019, Lufthansa Technik intends to nearly double the number of training slots in Hamburg and Frankfurt over a period of several years. This decision was made on the basis of the company's good economic development and the fact that many of its employees will soon reach retirement age. Several subsidiaries are once again increasing their trainee numbers as well: In particular, Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey plans a significant extension of its training activities.


Among the 78 trainees starting in Hamburg are three deaf people, who are part of a project that Lufthansa Technik launched in 2000: every two years, deaf people have the opportunity to become tool mechanics, with the vast majority of graduates going on to work at the company's workshops in permanent positions.


The sites and training professions are as follows:


Hamburg: 78 trainees and dual-programme trainees are joining the programme in Hamburg this year. Most of the slots here go to young people who will become aircraft mechanics with specialties in repair technology (12) and engines (12), together with trainees in the new profession of electronics technician for devices and systems (22) that was introduced in 2016. They are joined by 12 tool mechanics, two surface coating technicians, and at Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services, 12 warehouse logistics specialists, all of whom are also beginning their training. In addition, there are new trainees in Hamburg for the following degree-based professions: one practice-oriented aircraft engineer (Bachelor of Engineering), two practice-oriented electrical engineers (Bachelor of Science), two mechanical engineers (Bachelor of Science) and one student of mechatronics (Bachelor of Science). The degree coursework for these programmes takes place at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.


Alzey: Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey has taken on eleven new aircraft mechanic trainees with a specialty in engine technology. With this step, Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey is expanding its training capacity once again (it now has a total of 35 training slots).


Arnstadt: 16 aircraft mechanic trainees with a specialty in engine technology will strengthen N3 Engine Overhaul Services' workforce. In addition, three people will begin their training as warehouse logistics specialists. This is an increase in trainees over last year and, with a total of 53 trainees, N3 is also very important as a training location.


Frankfurt: 46 trainees are starting the programme in Frankfurt, including for the first time, seven aircraft mechanics with a specialty in engine technology. They are joined by 12 aircraft mechanics specialising in repair technology, 12 aircraft electronics specialists, 13 warehouse logistics specialists (LTLS) and two specialists for forwarding and logistics services (LTLS).


Munich: Four trainees are beginning at Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services with the goal of becoming specialists in warehouse logistics.


With a total of 76 training slots, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services has the largest training programme in the Lufthansa Technik Group aside from its parent company.


The percentage of women among the new trainees amounts to 10% this year, which is 3% lower than the year before and also below the average of the past five years. Lufthansa Technik will keep an eye on this development and continue its efforts to win over women to future-oriented technical professions.


Magnetic MRO has launched another unmanned RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tool Control system, resulting in two advanced Tool Gates and one RFID Kiosk in total throughout its facilities in Tallinn, Estonia. The project is designed and upgraded for fully automated inventory transactions, supported by CribMaster’s latest software, so that all hangars can communicate with each other without any manual input.


Upgrading its RFID systems to an advanced level, Magnetic MRO is now able to provide full quality control for calibration servicing and testing, as well as ultimate convenience for issuing tools and equipment accompanied by easy returning options. System also allows employees to assign the relevant tools to respective task cards in order to improve preparation period and optimise operational safety and control.


Magnetic MRO is also preparing to launch CribMaster Mobile to improve the user experience and avoid unnecessary time consumption arising from obligatory desktop interactions. 


Marilake Aerosystems has announced a further increase to its in-house internal and external lighting repair capability. Gerry Griffiths, Managing Director, said: “Lighting repairs have always been a major part of our business. However, working with our partners has identified a need to focus on continued capability expansion across the entire range of internal and external lighting fitted to new generation and classic airliners. LED lighting continues to grow and we are embracing the opportunities this gives us. We continue to invest in OEM approved test equipment, but wherever possible, our extensive in-house resources are utilised to manufacture simulators and shop aids to maximise efficiency.”


SR Technics has signed a contract with Malta Enterprise and Malta Industrial Parks Limited to expand its aircraft maintenance facility in Malta, following last year’s MoU. The agreement includes the construction of a modern multi-bay hangar facility for narrow and widebody aircraft at Malta International Airport. With a size of 30,000m², including workshop space, the new infrastructure will enable SR Technics to increase its capacity for heavy maintenance, C checks and cabin modifications to up to six narrowbody aircraft at a time. Construction will begin this year, with scheduled completion in November 2019 for the first three bays. Until full completion, the company will also operate a single bay temporary hangar from November this year onwards. Operations will initially focus on the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737NG.


U-Freight, a Hong Kong-based freight forwarder and logistics company, has been working on a worldwide basis with SOAR, a provider of services for emergency repairs for large AOG events, as well as scheduled airframe repairs. Among these projects is the crating and shipping of full size mobile aircraft hangars to various locations, with recent activity primarily in Asia.  


The hangars, which are used to protect an aircraft in situ whilst under repair, are based globally and have been used most recently in Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Portugal. The hangars are able to hold an aircraft as large as a Boeing 747 to protect it from the elements. The hangars are moved in a disassembled state in up to six 40ft high-cube containers, depending upon size and mission.


U-Freight is also responsible for moving the tooling required for each of these projects from the USA to the different project locations and also for returning them to the USA for refurbishment.

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