Building on traditional values to create a new future

This motto was chosen by MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg to mark the year in which the company celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since 1991, this MTU location on Berlin’s doorstep has grown from strength to strength, and is now not only a poster child for the regional economy but also a force to be reckoned with internationally.

04.2016 | Text: Dr. Philipp Bruhns

Text:
Dr. Philipp Bruhns has been working in corporate communications for over 15 years and has been self-employed since 2008. Based in Denmark, Bruhns has a doctoral degree in psycholinguistics and as an author specializes in maintenance topics as well as health and social issues.

The right decisions in a competitive environment

After German reunification, the former German Democratic Republic’s economic star, which since the 1960s had mainly focused on building jet-aircraft and helicopter engines for the National People’s Army (NVA), had to fight for its survival. And this despite the fact that the former “Luftfahrttechnik Ludwigsfelde” was one of the most sought-after investment propositions for companies seeking to acquire ownership of the GDR’s aviation industry assets after the Soviet Union’s dissolution. “One of the main reasons why MTU won the race to acquire the company in the face of many reputable competitors with strong financial resources was that its bid was based on a solid plan to assure the company’s future development without shedding too many jobs,” says works council chairman Michael Winkelmann, whose term of office spans these two eras, recalling the turbulent years after German reunification.

A renewed identity in the 1990s

When MTU set up its new maintenance location in Ludwigsfelde in 1991, activities there rung in a new era in the company’s growth, including the establishment of the Pratt & Whitney Canada Customer Service Centre Europe (CSC) and a maintenance agreement for the T64 helicopter engine. But these were difficult economic times, and MTU had to deal with numerous setbacks. The location survived thanks to a further input of capital by MTU, government subsidies, and the transfer of industrial gas turbine (IGT) maintenance activities to Ludwigsfelde in 1995. This assured the location’s continued existence and laid the foundation for its future growth. In 1997, the assembly of low-pressure turbine (LPT) modules was added to the location’s portfolio, resulting in further steady growth in the provision of maintenance services for engines built by Pratt & Whitney Canada.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada Customer Service Centre Europe.

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Pratt & Whitney Canada Customer Service Centre Europe.

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LM6000 – teardown and assembly in Ludwigsfelde.

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LM6000 – teardown and assembly in Ludwigsfelde.

Further growth and a wider portfolio

The construction of a new production facility in 2001 enabled the Ludwigsfelde site to expand its portfolio once again. From 2003 onward, the CF34 engine family for regional jets, built by GE Aviation, represented the location’s third-biggest source of maintenance revenue. Meanwhile, its IGT maintenance activities continued to grow. In 2004, another major engine program helped assure the location’s future when the TP400-D6 was added to its product portfolio, thus reaching its highest level so far. By 2010, the location’s workforce had more than doubled as compared to1991.

Engines for regional and business jets are one of the mainstays of MTU Berlin-Brandenburg.

Excellent operating results and targeted development programs

Since 2010, MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg has focused on acquiring a greater share of independent aftermarket services by offering high-quality customized solutions. “Our main priority in the past few years has been to intensify efforts to improve our processes, while at the same time investing in new repair techniques and updating our test facilities, in order to expand the range of services we offer to customers, explains André Sinanian, Managing Director of MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg. “But above all, we have remained faithful to our first prerogative, which is to serve our customers throughout the world with first-class operational performance.”

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