Airfoil experts: ASSB joint venture pools expertise
Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
Half a million blades per year
It’s 2 a.m. CET, 9 a.m. local time in Kuala Lumpur. Even at this time of the morning, the humidity is oppressive, causing the temperature in Malaysia’s capital to feel much higher than the thermometer shows. Europeans need a while for their bodies to adapt to the unaccustomed meteorological conditions. Dutchman Wim van Beers has grown used to the climate. In spring 2017, he became the new Managing Director of Airfoil Services Sdn. Bhd. (ASSB), a 50/50 joint venture between MTU and Lufthansa Technik, which specializes in the repair of engine blades. “With over 500 employees, we repair some 550,000 engine blades here per year,” van Beers says. ASSB’s experts take care of high-pressure compressor and low-pressure turbine engine blades for long-, short- and medium-haul aircraft such as the CF6-80C, the GP7000 or engines from the CFM56 and V2500 families.
World’s first shop offering the full range of repairs
Customers who entrust their engines to the maintenance shop in Kota Damansara, near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has been jointly managed since 2003 by MTU and Lufthansa Technik, benefit from over 25 years of experience. The primary objective of the joint venture is to leverage synergies and generate economies of scale in the area of blade repair. Both partners contribute a basic volume of blades and incorporate their repair development know-how into training and quality improvement. “The joint venture has given rise to extensive technological expertise and has also substantially increased our repair capability,” van Beers says. The result: ASSB was the world’s first shop able to offer the full range of repairs, which has proved instrumental in its success: “We have dramatically expanded the business and increased our revenue more than nine-fold since 2003,” van Beers adds. The addition of a new facility in 2007 has also significantly enlarged the location’s repair capacities.