MRO Management

N3 begins huge expansion project at its Erfurter Kreuz facility

N3 Engine Overhaul Services (N3), the joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce for the overhaul and repair of Rolls-Royce Trent aircraft engines, is expanding its building complex at Erfurter Kreuz.

N3 Engine Overhaul Services (N3), the joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce for the overhaul and repair of Rolls-Royce Trent aircraft engines, is expanding its building complex at Erfurter Kreuz.

The project will further establish N3 as an important European location in the global maintenance network for Rolls-Royce aircraft engines and create hundreds of new jobs.

Over the next two years, new factory areas will be constructed, existing buildings extended, machinery and equipment procured and new, flexible working methods introduced in the office areas.

N3 says the expansion will help to increase skilled worker numbers from the current 900 to 1,200.

Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce are investing approximately €150 million in the site, with the expansion being supported by the State Development Corporation of Thuringia and the Ministry of Economics, as well as the local authorities of the city of Arnstadt and the Ilm district.

N3 managing director, Carsten Behrens, said: “We are opening a new chapter in the German-British success story of N3 at Erfurter Kreuz.

“Our business picked up speed again very quickly in 2022 after the coronavirus years. In spring 2022, we flipped the switch from crisis to growth.

“N3 has enormous growth potential, because the demand for engine overhauls in the Rolls-Royce network is huge for the coming decades.”

N3 is currently able to service approximately 160 engines per year, but is expecting its capacity will ramp up to overhaul 250 engines per year.

In 2023, N3 will overhaul around 140 engines, and by 2024 this figure is expected to rise to almost 200.

Behrens said: “The extensive expansion during ongoing operations with increasing capacity utilisation and many new employees is a challenge for the entire team.

“We therefore have set up our own project organisation with around 50 internal and external experts for the expansion.”

Markus Siptroth, the previous production manager at N3, but has now taken over the overall project management of the project, said: “Close coordination with the local authorities and institutions is important so that we can realise construction projects and the procurement of new machines and systems at this pace.

“The cooperation is excellent. It is clear to everyone involved how important this project is for the city of Arnstadt and the Ilm district.”

The preparatory construction measures for the N3 expansion project began back in November, including the expansion of the car park.

The actual construction work will start at the beginning of 2024 with the expansion of the cleaning line for engine components and the extension for the factory hall.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new logistics campus with high-bay warehouse and delivery centre will take place in the third quarter of 2024. At the same time, the canteen will be expanded and the office areas remodelled.

The expansion plans and increasing workload are also accompanied by an increased need for skilled labour.

Stefan Landes, commercial director responsible for HR at N3, said: “We will fill another 300 positions – through in-house training, qualifications and direct entry. We will soon be welcoming the 1,000th employee to N3.

“When it comes to recruiting staff, we not only rely on our attractiveness for local specialists, but have also been expanding our search geographically for some time.

“We want to play our part in creating a corporate and entrepreneurial culture characterised by diversity at Erfurter Kreuz.”

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