That performance stems largely from Ameco’s lean program that began in 2007.
Although revenues are rising, costs are growing, too—a problem, Heizner says, that everyone has. “Our answer is for higher productivity and better utilization of our facilities, and lean processes.” That has involved a long journey to instill a culture of lean that now extends into administration as well as the shop floor.
The results have been dramatic. “For example, we targeted a 10% reduction in turnaround time for a Boeing 777; we achieved 20%” says Heizner. “We set targets every year, and this shows they should be ambitious” rather than incremental.
Ameco Sees Growth in Line Maintenance
Line maintenance could be a growing business for Ameco Beijing, says general manager and CEO Andreas Heizner. It already accounts for about 30% of the MRO provider’s revenues, which totaled $488 million in 2012.
Ten international customers have signed up so far this year for Ameco’s line maintenance and release services at its Beijing base and other locations in China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, Chongqing and Nanjing. A new station at Chengdu received approval this month. It now handles more than 50 airlines.
Customers for Ameco’s line maintenance services operate Boeing 747, 777, 767 and Airbus A380, A340, A330, A321 and A320 aircraft.
“We have the ability and the infrastructure to take on more third party work,” Heizner says. Long-term customers of Ameco’s MRO are prime prospects for line maintenance as well, he adds.
Expansion of Ameco Beijing’s line maintenance will be coordinated with those of its shareholder, Air China, whose Air China Technic supports its own aircraft in many locations. “It is not our strategy to compete with them,” Heizner says, adding that there is only a small overlap where both operate at the same airport.