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Brake's progress...

Posted 28 June 2018 · Add Comment

Wheel and brake MRO specialists offer not just skills and expertise but a variety of business models to meet the needs of operators. Chuck Grieve looks at some of the options.

The stresses on wheels and brakes in normal operating conditions make them the components most frequently in need of replacement on the airframe.
This, combined with their dimensions and weight, make logistics and stock management a big task for the operator – and a competitive market for MROs.
Numerous Middle East maintenance providers offer wheel-and-brake solutions, some in conjunction with landing gear overhaul and repair or scheduled maintenance checks.
Another option is the ‘cost-per-landing’ programme offered by TP Aerospace, a leading wheel and brake provider in commercial aviation. It is similar to a power-by-the-hour (PBH) contract but focused on wheels and brakes, and TP is the only standalone in the market using that format.
“We only see this with the big MRO integrators,” said company president Thomas Ibsoe. Cost-per-landing is a full service including stock and logistics with a 24/7 service guarantee. “We add extras, such as a personalised point of contact and unlimited warranty.”
Wheels and brakes “require proximity” to the customers, explained Ibsoe, which is why TP opened its Jebel Ali MRO base in 2017. It is one of seven bases worldwide, six of which – including Jebel Ali – carry out overhauls, minor repairs and tyre changes.
He said: “Our ‘sweet spot’ customers are airlines within the 1-30 aircraft range,” a segment well-represented and growing in the Middle East.
With MROs in the Middle East mainly centralised in large clusters, TP Aerospace tailors its bespoke client programmes to the hub and spoke model, covering both main base and line stations.

Dedicated workshop
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) opened a state-of-the-art wheel and brake workshop in Frankfurt in mid-2017 to provide for the expected growth in both its core and third-party business.
LHT technicians overhaul more than 25,000 wheels a year for major European, African and Asian airlines. Their work encompasses tyre changes, extensive non-destructive testing (NDT), major repairs and modifications for all Boeing and Airbus types.
The plant also handles about 5,000 brake units a year. It has the capability to rework structural parts and rotor discs of steel and carbon brakes.

Breadth of capabilities
For smaller operations, the breadth of a company’s capabilities can provide its unique selling point. The expertise and accreditations of wheel and brake specialist Rotable Repairs cover a range of platforms “from Cessnas to Airbus A340s”.
From its base at London’s Southend Airport, the company is well positioned to serve customers in the Middle East and Africa – a message its representatives brought to MRO Middle East in January.
Recently Rotable became the UK’s first authorised wheel and brake service centre for Honeywell. Sales and marketing director, Bryan Croft, said the Honeywell agreement complements its acquisition last year by the Desser Group “which has since enabled us to offer greater support and pricing for a range of mediums including tyres.”
The company says its status as an independent outsourcing supplier enables it to give customers a “responsive and customised service... tailored to meet the specific requirements” of any operation.

‘Quality and consistency’
US-based TT Repairs was at MRO Middle East to promote its core work in wheel and brake part repair. The company, located near Louisville International Airport, highlighted its “expert services” to meet aircraft repair, fabrication and custom-tooling needs on a variety of fixed and rotary-wing airframes.
“Airlines choose us for the quality and consistency of our work and the value we deliver,” said a spokesman. “We provide these services to wheel and brake shops globally, including the OEMs along with airlines operating their own shops.”

Well located
A location close to Toulouse-Blagnac international airport has helped Mazeres Aero Equipment establish a strong relationship with Airbus, which underpins its work in wheel and brake MRO.
Part of the large French contingent at MRO Middle East, Mazeres has capitalised on its role supporting Airbus during the certification of the A380 to offer wheel and brake repair for the super-jumbo, alongside technical support for other Airbus models on parts manufactured by Meggitt, Honeywell, Goodrich and others.
 

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