Airtime Blog

Designated Facilities Deliver Local Access to Line Maintenance

By PRATT & WHITNEY CUSTOMER SERVICE
February 6, 2020 | Maintenance, Customers, Technology | 3 min read
Pratt & Whitney is growing its Designated Maintenance Facility network to provide operators with easier access to high-quality customer service and engine expertise. Here’s the inside story.

MEETING THE NEEDS OF A CHANGING MARKET

Thanks to advances in materials and technology and the continuous improvement of our products based on field experience, engine maintenance intervals for major refurbishments are now longer than ever before. The overall engine reliability and durability, and the enhanced ability to proactively monitor engine health on-wing, are all enablers to the extended maintenance intervals. Additionally, on-condition maintenance programs are more readily available and contribute to achieving optimal aircraft availability through a reduced maintenance burden. Consequently, customers today are less focused on major maintenance and instead are looking for support with the line maintenance work that’s required between overhauls. With enhanced troubleshooting procedures and diagnostics capabilities, many engine issues are resolved on-wing through interventions with maintenance crews.

This trend is one of the key factors behind Pratt & Whitney’s decision to establish a new network of Designated Maintenance Facilities (DMFs) to enhance the capabilities of its Global Service Network, says Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy Office.

Pratt & Whitney’s first DMF was announced in June, 2017, with more following in rapid succession. There are now nine active facilities around the world: three in Brazil, plus others occupying strategic locations in China, Russia, India, Panama, Mexico and Canada. Each offers services tailored to the specific needs of operators in that region.
Our DMF network focuses on line maintenance capabilities, including light hot-section inspection (HSI) tasks, and mobile repair team field services. They cater to line maintenance-level work rather than tasks offered by big overhaul facilities.
Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy Office

FASTER TURNAROUND AND OEM-LEVEL SERVICES

“When we talk with customers, their priorities are all about getting back into service as quickly as possible,” notes Sonia.
Whoever you are, however you’re flying, dispatch reliability is always king.Through the DMF network, we can offer rapid, in-region response to local operators, helping to get them back in the air without delays.
Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy Office
The presence of in-country DMFs in markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil enables faster service response times – through simplified logistics and the elimination of cross-border issues.

Along with faster turnaround times, DMFs support customers by providing them with a one-stop shop for authorized, high-quality services, from engine-OEM-approved tooling and parts to direct support from the engine manufacturer if complex technical questions arise.

What’s more, DMFs are part of the global Pratt & Whitney service network, which can help expedite support. For instance, if a DMF in Brazil doesn’t have a particular part in stock, it can readily obtain it from another P&W facility in the region.

MEETING PRATT & WHITNEY’S STANDARDS

DMFs are carefully chosen to ensure they deliver quality service and live up to customers’ expectations. Typically, they are facilities that already service Pratt & Whitney-powered aircraft and possess line maintenance capabilities.

While DMFs operate independently, Pratt & Whitney monitors them through mechanisms such as periodic audits, spot checks and customer feedback surveys to ensure they’re performing to the required level, explains Jo-Ann Mellon, Director, Service Network Management and Strategy Office.
Customers understand that when we partner with others, we have high expectations vis-a-vis performance standards. Various key performance indicators are tracked, such as the number of days it takes to resolve an aircraft-on-ground situation. These are aligned with our own performance targets for mobile repair teams.
Jo-Ann Mellon, Director, Service Network Management and Strategy Office
After two-plus years, customer satisfaction levels with DMFs are very high, says Jo-Ann. One facility, ABA Manutencao de Aeronaves in Barreiras, Brazil, also recently won the 2019 InovANAC Award for safety/airworthiness, which recognizes innovation in civil aviation.

In light of its success to date, Pratt & Whitney is pushing forward with expanding the network further in regions where needs have been identified, such as South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The number of facilities is set to triple by the end of 2020. After that, Jo-Ann expects growth to slow, while Pratt & Whitney will continue refining the network and ensuring it delivers the intended value to customers. For an interactive list of all Pratt & Whitney Maintenance facilities: We're where you need us.
Expansion of the DMF network is aligned with an overall global strategy aimed at increasing support for Pratt & Whitney engine operators in emerging markets. Learn more about what we’re doing in Brazil and Africa, to name just two key regions