General Electric is extending its "TRUEngine" quality-assurance label from complete powerplants to individual life-limited parts.
The US manufacturer introduced the trademark in 2008 to tag used engines that exclusively contain original material, be it replacement parts or components that have been repaired by GE or its partners. The move came after operators started installing alternative equipment from third-party providers with either parts manufacturing approval or designated engineering representative repair authorisation.
The OEM label – which covers engines from both GE and its CFM International joint venture with Snecma – was intended to deter operators from using competitor material. Exclusive installation of original spares and OEM-repaired components should lead to 25-50% higher asset values compared with engines containing third-party equipment, the manufacturer says.
Now, as airlines are increasingly deploying used surplus material instead of new replacement parts, especially on old powerplants approaching retirement, and trading in such material is becoming more widespread. GE has extended the TRUEngine scheme to individual LLPs.
The programme is to be successively rolled out across the CFM56, CF6, CF34, GE90 and GEnx product lines.
Original GE and CFM material is not automatically receiving the label, however. GE’s evaluation covers the configuration and maintenance history of both the individual parts and engine system as a whole. If an OEM part has been used in conjunction with third-party material, it might not meet the standard.
“Systems-level analysis is critical because some non-life-limited ‘influencing parts’ [from alternative sources], like turbine blades and seals, can significantly impact durability of LLPs,” says GE.
The TRUEngine initiative is not merely directed at operators of mid-life engines such as the CFM56-5B and -7B narrowbody powerplants, which might more easily move between different airlines and lessors. The programme also targets operators of mature engines that want to strip them down for part sale, says Tom Levin, general manager for GE’s material services division.
The quality evaluation and labelling service will also be available for third-party market players aiming to sell GE components, he adds.
Meanwhile, three airlines have expanded their participation in the TRUEngine scheme, says GE.
Alitalia has added 41 CF34-8E and -10E powerplants for its Embraer 175 and 190 fleet after the manufacturer included the regional jet engine in the programme in July. The Italian flag carrier had previously met the standard for its Airbus A320-powering CFM56-5Bs and CF6-80Es on the airline’s A330s.
Belgian leisure operator Jetairfly included the CF34-10Es for its two Embraer 190s in the scheme, after its parent TUI received the designation for the CFM56-7Bs and GEnx engines on the Boeing 737 and 787 respectively.
Spanish carrier Air Europa extended its participation for CFM56-7B and CF6-80E engines to the CF34-10Es for its 22 Embraer 195s.