N3 Engine Overhaul Services is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
The joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce for the maintenance and repair of aircraft engines started in 2006 with the construction of its workshops on a green field in the Erfurter Kreuz industrial area in Germany, and went into operation in 2007.
N3 is an important part of the overhaul network for Rolls-Royce Trent engines. The company’s workforce consists of more than 700 people, and 124 trainees have to date been trained and employed. Since 2007, N3 Engine Overhaul Services has overhauled 1,360 engines from over 50 international airlines.
“We proudly look back on 15 years of company history at Erfurter Kreuz and especially on the performance of N3’s employees,” said N3’s commercial director Stefan Landes. “Their commitment ensured that N3 was able to grow into an indispensable partner within the Rolls-Royce network. As one of the largest employers at Erfurter Kreuz, we also have a significant impact in the area and have created many opportunities for Thuringia.”
N3 said that, looking ahead, the need for maintenance services for Rolls-Royce Trent engines will “increase sharply” in the coming years. In particular, technical support for the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines is in high demand. N3 will add the Trent 1000 TEN (used on the Boeing 787) to its portfolio, and preparations for obtaining the operating license are already under way. With a portfolio that will then cover a total of five engine types, capacity utilisation will double over the next five years from the current 120 engines per year in 2022 up to 250, N3 said.
“We have come through the ‘Corona Valley’ with an enormous dip in growth,” said N3’s CFO Stefan Landes. The Arnstadt-based company recorded a drop in orders of around one third in 2020 and 2021, due to the dramatic drop in international air traffic during the Covid crisis. Landes said the company was now “looking positively towards the future while considering the expansion of its site in Arnstadt”.
N3 will this year relaunch its aeronautical qualification programme for specialists from outside the industry. Since the start of operations in 2007, more than 350 participants have successfully completed the programme, which was specifically designed for the company. Extensive personnel recruitment measures are already under way for engineering positions and specialists in logistics, IT, human resources and purchasing. New positions also have to be filled in supply chain management, the company said, due to the increasing workload.
Since the start of N3’s operations, an in-house engineering department has overseen the ongoing optimisation and sustainability management of its processes, as well as the introduction of new, innovative repair technologies. N3 also develops its own solutions for tool development and has already established some as best practice within the Rolls-Royce network. More than 80 engineers now work at N3, and this figure is rising “rapidly because the need for engineering professionals goes hand-in-hand with portfolio expansion and extensive digitisation projects”.