Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey: 10 years of support for the CF34-10E engine
Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey (LTAA) marks in December 10 years of experience in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the CF 34-10E engine – a type used in the Embraer 190 and 195 regional jets and the Embraer Lineage business jet 1000. LTAA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik, added the CF34-1 and CF34-3 to its portfolio as early as 1991, and they were joined by the CF34-8 in 2002. Since then, LTAA employees have supported over 550 CF34-10E store visits and over 270 customer site visits.
In 2014, the 100th workshop visit of a CF34-10E took place. Even if the engine manufacturer General Electric (GE) decided in early 2020 to stop new production of the 10E, its future prospects remain good. Raimund Schnell, Vice President, Marketing and Sales at LTAA, explains: “Over 1,500 CF34-10 engines are currently in service around the world, and the 10E is currently experiencing a revival. We have up to 120 maintenance events per year, and we anticipate further growth in the years to come. “
Before the introduction of the larger CF34 family engine, which produced up to 20,000 pounds of thrust, the existing test bay had to be enlarged. In addition, preparations were needed for the engine modules which were probably the most maintenance-intensive parts for operators.
Experience quickly revealed that the low pressure turbine (LPT) in particular was showing signs of wear. Thus, LTAA has developed an LPT module modification program. At the heart of the program is the on-site removal of the LPT followed by a workshop repair – cost-effectively and very quickly: up to four days for removal and reinstallation of the LPT module, plus up to nine days for the necessary modifications to the module in the workshop. The whole process therefore only lasted 14 days, compared to more than 35 days required for a regular workshop visit. In addition, it was possible to dispense with the test which would otherwise have been necessary.
LTAA itself largely developed the tool sets needed to replace the module and procured the fasteners to remove and transport the engine as well as the shipping containers for the LPT module. The program was not limited to installing Alzey; LPT modules have been removed and reinstalled at sites such as Beijing or Tulsa, Oklahoma. During the last extension phase of the program, the LPT modules were even completely modified in Tulsa and no longer had to be transported to Alzey.
“In addition to the benefits for customers, the LPT module modification program has also enabled us to eliminate the backlog created by the delayed introduction of CF34-10 at LTAA and to maintain our position against the competition”, remembers Thomas Breit, Entry Into Service Manager CF34-10 at LTAA.
In parallel, an “upper and lower case procedure” for the compressor was developed with the engine manufacturer, GE, and introduced to deal with larger compressor damage. It has significantly reduced the labor required for these repairs. The procedure was first carried out on site for a customer in Australia, thus avoiding the transport of the engine from Australia to Alzey.
LTAA’s long years of experience are appreciated by the engine manufacturer as well as by customers: “Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey and Finnair have been working together successfully on CF34 engine shop visits for several years. As a customer, we particularly appreciate the clear and transparent workshop visit. process and that there is good communication and transparent cooperation, ”notes Marko Anttila, responsible for continuing airworthiness and powertrain management at Finnair. “We need the reliability, cost efficiency and innovative thinking of our MRO suppliers, which Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey has delivered very well. It was also essential during the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. “
In addition, LTAA collaborates in the optimization of the manuals and pursues a permanent exchange with GE. The company also supports the OEM in short-term projects.