Aviation Business News

Glossy results

René Lang is executive managing director at Mankiewicz
photo_camera René Lang is executive managing director at Mankiewicz

Time is money in the application of coatings and paints on various parts of an aircraft, so an efficient process is important, says Mankiewicz’s executive managing director, René Lang.

In the refurbishment of aircraft exterior surfaces, efficient process management is the key to the long-term success of an MRO. In addition to the existing cost pressure and increasingly complex liveries, the limited resources of free paint slots currently also increase the need for the shortest possible turnaround times per aircraft.

To realise the best possible performance under these conditions, MROs need to surround themselves with strong partners and suppliers in all disciplines.

Mankiewicz develops and supplies coatings for cabin interiors, aircraft exteriors and structural parts. We also offer on-site consulting and technical support during application through a worldwide network of production and service locations.

Well-planned logistics to ensure fast, local availability of coatings is just the first step. With our Smart2Mix system, MROs can produce the coatings themselves on-site in the exact quantity required. This brings enormous speed to the process and pays off in terms of sustainability since there is no need to deliver small quantities separately.

Instead, the exact colour tone required is available in the right quantity at the push of a button. This applies to interior and exterior coatings, and the process is incredibly precise and compliant with relevant aircraft specifications.

This saves resources and is, therefore, particularly sustainable. No unnecessary quantities of paint need to be disposed of, and there are no emissions through special transports.

Mankiewicz also offers simple mobile repair kits for cabin interiors which enables airlines to carry out uncomplicated and simple repairs ‘in-between’. This eliminates the need for extended grounding of the aircraft or removal of components. After the application of these fully waterborne, low-emission paint materials, the aircraft is immediately available for further flight operations.

Time is money in exterior applications, too, especially when it comes to colour variety and complexity. Our Alexit Basecoat/Clearcoat system enables efficient processes thanks to its outstanding hiding power even in very low film thicknesses, fast drying, and the so-called wild spraying method. Due to its exceptionally high hiding power, coating processes can be reversed, and even white tones cover black tones in just one coat, saving time and minimising materials. In addition, a skilled technical support team accompanies MROs globally.

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Mankiewicz develops and supplies coatings for aircraft exteriors, cabin interiors and structural parts
Mankiewicz develops and supplies coatings for aircraft exteriors, cabin interiors and structural parts.

It is not just fuselage and VTP that can offer room for efficiency; our newly launched product for wings replaces two products at once. But what makes wings so special when it comes to coatings? First, a coating material needs a high degree of flexibility to cope with the massive movements of the wing in flight without cracking the coating surface, thus ensuring long-term protection. Added to this are stresses caused by chemicals in the lower area of the wing, for example hydraulic fluids or kerosene. These extreme requirements have led to two different coating systems for the upper and lower wing box in the past.

Here, with the introduction of Alexit WingFlex, we have developed a system that offers clear process advantages. WingFlex allows the top and bottom of the wings to be painted with just one specially developed topcoat – instead of one product for the top and one for the bottom. This means there is no intermediate requirement for drying and masking, resulting in time-optimised painting. Added to this is the prolonged durability and the ease with which the system can be repaired. Also for wings, we offer a special paint system for high abrasion areas such as flaps.

In the refurbishment of cabin interiors, additive manufacturing is another trend with coating relevance. The possibility of printing spare parts on site at the MRO eliminates transport routes and delivery times. Since the surfaces of 3D printed parts currently have rough irregularities and furrows, those parts would not fulfil the visual demands of airlines.

We have developed and qualified a special coating system which supports the special FST and heat release requirements, while having an above average filling power to level any irregularities. It thus often makes 3D printing possible in the first place. In addition to specification compliance, the product offers efficient processes in just one layer – it is a filler and primer in one. Another advantage arises in flight operations; the low weight of PrimeFill is unparalleled and thus contributes to CO² emissions reduction in flight operations.

Whether interior or exterior refurbishment, MROs have many options when selecting coatings and they will find efficient and sustainable solutions with Mankiewicz systems. Often, the optimal approach comes from a direct exchange with the MRO or airline, which is why we rely on a global network of experienced technicians who conduct on-site workshops, provide advice, and support paint jobs.

This advertorial feature was first published in MRO Management – August/September 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.

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