The Success of Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited Among Other Rolls Royce Maintenance Centres

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In the Asia-Pacific, Singapore Aero Engine Services Pte Ltd (SAESL) is the Rolls Royce centre of excellence for overhaul, repair and even maintenance for the famous Rolls Royce Trent engines. Joined in 1999 as a major aspect of the principal ever arrange by Singapore Airlines for Rolls Royce motors, the fruitful fulfillment of this venture set the tone for the accompanying 18 years, with the facility expanding four times. SAESL started their very first operations in 2001. Within a couple of years, they have developed their ability and capability to fully support the arrangement of the Trent family motors globally. The expansion of a committed segment repair facility in 2010 been trailed by the expansion of its own additional substantial test cell in 2014, new workplaces, and upgraded Trent 1000 and Trent XWB assembly work space in 2015 to additionally harden SAESL’s advancement in the market. With the help of merged sister company, IECO and from a group of only 15 in the beginning of 1999, SAESL has grown vastly with a current complement of in excess of 1000 representatives crosswise over three state-of-the-art encases the company’s influence in the present day Core Business.

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Since origin, Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL) has turned into the market pioneer for both engine overhaul and component repair services. On top of that, the company has serviced more than 2300 engines, supporting in excess of 26 clients on all continents. Because of SAESL’s managed business development throughout the 1990s, 2010s, the Company has continuously reinvest its revenue into the itself to either expand or better improve the facility, service diversification and general business enhancements. Subsequently, SAESL has culminated various accreditations and certifications awarded by developing new capacities for both their engine overhaul and component repair arms. With this capabilities, SAESL is the only facility in the world that supports all the Rolls Royce Trent engine family. SAESL is also able to repair and overhaul more than 300 Trent engines from Rolls Royce in a year, with their state of the art engine test facility.

SAESL is reputable for their excellence service and quality with their ever growing highly skilled workforce strength. Clear by many Airworthiness approvals and different certification achievement, shows their excellence service and quality standard promised to their customer. With the aid of Quality and Safety Management Systems that guarantee that their customers’ needs are fully met, while following all the administrative and legitimate necessities. By incorporating quality and safety culture to each and every employees. The culture is sustained through different training and awareness programmes, cultivating an open air report and prompt feedback between leadership and the team member, which is the fundamental foundation of SAESL’s core competencies. Figure 1Being a maintenance and overhaul engine for the Trent engine, its component repair strand has turned into a critical contribution to the Company’s ambitions. Quality becomes their key standard to attract potential customer, as it is their selling point of the business. With the ability to repair more than 85 percent of the in-house and global engine, including five centers of excellence for fan blades, compressor blades, nozzle guide vanes, compressor stator vanes, and front combustion liners.

Furthermore, the most expensive cost of an engine refurbishment is the replacement of new parts, so with the end goal to lessen the costs incurred by the customer, there is a need to develop new or more repair that will extend the life of the individual parts and restore them to the original design intended, thus, improving overall engine performance and efficiencies through the lifespan of the engine.

Being awarded with centre of excellence old in recognition of maintenance, Repair and Overhaul with 18 month in advance of the schedule was a significant milestone for SAESL. Comparing with other Rolls Royce Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Centres in other parts of the world which still using manual processes for repair the engine, has lead to SAESL realizing the importance of implementing automation to the MRO road map to not only speed up the time required for a single engine turn-over and also safety. By deploying robot compared to human, there was a significant advantage. Transferring the blades from one production cycle to the next finally reduces for both man hours and risk. With this economical and diligent manner of using robot to reduce hours wasted and risk from human, this clearly indicate it accelerate the workflow processes and completion time. As robots do not get fatigue just like human and all it need is electricity, now it is possible to operate 24 hour, 7 days a week, cutting the operational cost and downtime. SAESL spend almost 5 percent of its machinery and gear budget on ABB robots in return, a huge reduction of man hours by 10 percent and also overall cycle time. Thus leading it to be the first automotive MRO center globally.With a industry standard of 65 days for a single engine for a full overhaul, SAESL can achieve it with 60 days after implementing the automation of robot along the MRO roadmap. This show that not only there is safety, there is also a great impact on time required to deliver a fully overhaul engine. This data shown the reward of implementing a small portion of automotive to the line, thus SAESL intend to further reduce turnover time to 55 days in the coming future. Making it automated robot to replace human(s) is easier said than done, said ABB company of robot. Configuration has to be modified several time just like trial and error due to the complexity and accuracy needed for the engine, as small error can cause the engine to malfunction.For example, the compressor blades require a six stage to be commissioned. A total of over 200 robotic positions need to be configured for each and individual stage. To top it up, the gripper to grip on to the compressor ensuring a firm grip have a unique design for each blade. Thus the cost of implementing automation is high due to complexity and accuracy of engine. Time needed to configure the robot and also a grip have to able to adapt to the multiple blades in each stage, as changing blade every tuning will incurred a lot of time just to change the grip of the robot hand.

Another disadvantages of using human than robot for MRO, is human error. Human error is a constant threat for MRO as it can jeopardise the integrity of the engine so is the safety of the crew. Technology have been implement to assist or assess the human to some extent. Well training or various program training to better enhance the crew, some human error are inevitable. However investing on high performance automation system to replace human from the MRO do have its down side. As automotive system is relatively new to the industry, the cost of implementing is high, company have to develop an associated plan for ongoing maintenance, repair and operation. Company have to take ownership of its technology and ensure the integration of this automation system can be successfully utilised and be able to benefit from this investment.

Companies tend to run into challenges when component fails such as, accident occurs or other incidents that causes interruptions of normal operations. This is mainly due to ignoring the basic planning and jumping right into using of the automation system. Automated systems require months if not years to source, or even configuration of the system to better suit the MRO. It is important to know what it takes to keep those systems operational, and keeping it in condition for daily use. To better resolve this issue, companies have to put together a team(s) to be trained in proficiency to “take care” of these machines. The team must be able to evaluate the system when problem arises, fixing the problem on the fly and reduce the down time of the system. Making each and individual machine is in the tip top condition will not only save the company money and also reduce down time, therefore increase the turnover of the company.Investing on sensor to better understand the equipment current status can prevent a big issue, as the problem will resolve early before it can happen. Both humans and automotive machines must coexist, to better understand each of the machines issue when arise. Trained personnel will also help to ensure the long-term and smooth running of the system, prevention of continuous system when problems is detected. By using sensor, it will help the trained personnel to pinpoint the part of the system that require attention to rectify the issue and bring the system back online.

Not only setting up a prevention plan, company has to prepare for replacement of the equipment or the parts, as there will be wear and tear due to prolonged usage of the systems. As this system is relatively new, parts for replacement will require more funds of the company’s reserve. By calculating the lifespan of the machines, the company can predict when the system is required for a component replacement. This not only avoids potential problems but will keep the system up to speed.

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