Snecma Morocco Engine Services expands MRO capabilities to include CFM56-5B
Snecma Morocco Engine Services (SMES), a jointly-owned subsidiary of Snecma, a Safran group company (51%) and Royal Air Maroc (49%), has expanded its MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) capabilities. We talked with Alexandre Brun, Chief Executive of SMES.
Where does SMES fit within the Snecma network of MRO providers?
Snecma is both an engine manufacturer and MRO provider, which gives it a considerable advantage. Today, it deploys a unified network of MRO facilities, including SMES. The network is designed to give our customers top-flight services, by leveraging synergies between its constituent units. For example, we are developing the same quality standards at all workshops, with the same level of services available to our customers. To achieve this goal, we are accelerating the sharing of expertise between different facilities. For example, SMES welcomed several technicians from its Belgian counterpart, Snecma Services Brussels, to train them on the CFM56-7B that they will be adding to their portfolio. And our technicians were trained by their counterparts at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, to work on the CFM56-5B.
Why have you extended your scope of overhaul capabilities to include the -5B in particular?
This engine offers strong development potential for SMES in a dynamic Africa-Europe zone. Until now, we were specialized in Boeing 737 engines. We started with the CFM56-3, then added the CFM56-7B. Adding the CFM56-5B, which powers the Airbus A320 family, is a logical move. We will be applying our skills and expertise to this engine, which is similar in size and technology to the CFM56-7B. In 2011 we completed five CFM56-5B shop visits, and about 20 are planned for 2012.
What did your people do to meet this latest goal?
Throughout 2011, we geared up for the required CFM56-5B overhaul processes. We called on the experience and expertise of our fellow workshops in Saint-Quentin and Chengdu, China to choose the tools and machinery needed. Everybody at SMES made a full-fledged commitment so we could handle the first five CFM56-5B engines at the same time.
What is coming up in the next few months?
We will continue developing the capabilities needed for CFM56-5B overhauls, by training more staff and adapting our test cell to this engine. SMES is unique in its market because we have our own test rig, which saves time on overhauls. We have to adapt it to the CFM56-5B, because until now it was used for the CFM56-3 and CFM56-7. That represents a considerable investment, but it was just approved by the Board, and will enable us to further boost our performance.