The landing gear business is buoyant for REVIMA.
It has been a busy time for REVIMA. In October last year, it announced a new brand and organisational structure, while April 2019 saw approval from anti-trust authorities as well as the company’s works council for the completion of an agreement with private investment house Ardian – to acquire a majority stake in the company – a deal that was announced in January 2019.
Olivier Legrand, president of the group, and Argos Wityu, another investment house that took a majority stake in 2017, will now reinvest alongside Ardian.
Clearly, the business now has the financial muscle to expand, with a spend of €4-5 million per year planned for the next five years on new facilities, facility upgrades and investments in new aircraft types for both the landing gear and APU divisions.
Industrial processes have not been forgotten, with additional CNC machines and machine upgrades, additional plating tanks and the introduction of HVOF for landing gear. For the landing gear sector, business is good, says Legrand, helped by aircraft delivery patterns.
As landing gear generally has a fixed 10 year/10,000 flight cycle maintenance pattern, it is possible to anticipate future workload to a degree, although there are some variables. These include return off lease conditions that can throw up unscheduled work and newer types such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 having extended service intervals of 12 years.
Another factor is early aircraft retirements taking work away and he adds that surplus landing gear coming on to the market for teardowns can quickly depreciate the value of components. The company keeps a very close eye on this and is very careful about purchases.
For newer types, the initial investment might be shared in cooperation with airline customers and other actors in the market.
Nevertheless, those patterns are delivering plenty of work on the A320 Family (some of it on second overhaul cycles at 20 years) and the 777-300ER, while two additional overhaul lines have recently been added for the A330. Good progress is also being made with REVIMA Asia Pacific, a new $30 million landing gear overhaul facility in Thailand.
The 12,500m2 building is located in the Amata City Chonburi Industrial Park, which is a Free Zone in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) south of Bangkok, close to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, U-Tapao Airport, where a growing maintenance hub is being developed, and the seaport and main highway connections.
The ground-breaking took place in February 2019 and the foundations have already been completed. It is on schedule to be operational in 1Q20.
Initially, it will focus on A320 and 737 with ATR and Embraer E-Jet to follow at a later date. The eventual capacity will be 200 shipsets/year while the workforce should grow to 300 personnel. He notes there is already market interest as there is limited MRO capacity in the region.
At the moment, there are 10 people on site involved in local sourcing and another 15 at REVIMA headquarters in Caudebec-en-Caux working on workshop layouts, specifying and ordering new machines sourced in Europe and defining quality assurance procedures. The latter will be deployed to Bangkok later. The first batch of 15 trainees from Thailand will arrive in France in June.
Another investment is in a new production information system that is MRO specific, with many features allowing significant improvements from the existing system and will help REVIMA achieve its 4.0 factory vision. This will be deployed first in Thailand, then in France.
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