MTU Aero Engines Spotlight & Testimonial – 15 February 2022
Hi, I’m Thomas Frank, Senior Vice President Corporate Quality at MTU Aero Engines AG. Our company is Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and a technology leader in low-pressure turbines, high-pressure compressors, turbine center frames as well as manufacturing processes and repair techniques. Some 30 percent of today’s active commercial aircraft in service worldwide have our components on board.
Our MTU Maintenance ranks among the top 3 service providers for maintenance of commercial aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines.
In the military arena, we are Germany's industrial lead company for practically all engines operated by the country's military.
In 2020, we had a workforce of around 10,000 employees and posted consolidated sales of almost €4bn. Our sites around the globe worked together with circa 5,800 suppliers.
How long have you been involved / working with the AESQ?
MTU was an early member of the AESQ initiative and has been actively involved from March 2015 onward, first in an observing role and from July 2015 onwards as a voting member. In addition, MTU had the honor of leading the AESQ Strategy Group for two years from mid-2017 onwards.
What are the benefits or greatest value that AESQ brings to you?
We see the collaboration within AESQ as a great opportunity to work together with leaders in the aircraft industry on future quality standards for the whole aerospace engine supply chain. By doing this, we can learn from each other, set new benchmarks, and lead the whole industry to world-class quality standards.
What AESQ tools and communications do you find the most useful?
The Zero Defects video is always impressive to me. It shows the individual elements of AS13100 in their interaction and how they complement each other optimally. The closed loop principle of continuous improvement, together with the feedback of experience (lessons learned) to avoid errors, is the key to safe and reliable products in our industry.
With the supplier forums we are getting direct feedback from the supply chain to realize a new joint standard. The complete relevant documentation (videos, presentation, FAQs) on the AESQ website, including past supplier forums, is very useful. The format of virtual supplier forums including the documentation should be kept in any case as it shows very well the experiences and expectations of the companies.
With the SMIG groups (subject matter interest groups) we are working as an industry community together to implement the new standard, share best practice and give the supply base a platform to learn from each other. This closed loop helps further develop the standard for the entire industry.
What would you tell non-members about AESQ to encourage them to “get involved”?
Benefit from this unique industry initiative! Get involved to gain first-hand knowledge and information, create new standards, reflect on your own company's needs, and take advantage of networking opportunities.
What are you looking forward to with AESQ?
I'm particularly looking forward to implementing with AS13100 as a single standard across the whole supply chain to see our vision become reality.
What are your plans for deployment of as13100?
We are not planning the deployment, we are already implementing the new standard! With the target to work according the AS13100 starting 2023, we launched a comprehensive project in mid-2021, involving all of MTU's stakeholders.
We have almost completed the project phase of the "Delta identification & Action definition" and are in the early stages of implementing measures to adapt our QM system, both in-house and for our supply chain. We plan to finalize this by September 2022. From October onwards, internal self-assessments will follow in order to assess the level of AS13100 compliance. After final adjustments to optimize our system, we aim to successfully complete the project by the end of the year.
Do you have a favourite or inspiring moment from your experience with a past AESQ event or activity?
This definitely includes the last supplier forum. I was very impressed by the high number of participants, and it was a good exchange that brought very constructive feedback.
In addition, the feedback from the implementation team via our company representative provides us with important information about the experiences and upcoming issues of AS13100 deployment in other companies. This in turn provides us with inspiration for internal discussions.
Since MTU has been an AESQ member for a long time, there is more than one highlight for us. So, I would also like to pass this question on to my predecessor Martin Schäffner, who was on the AESQ leadership team. And this is his answer: First, the joint Senior Leadership Meeting between the VPs of Procurement and Quality at the Farnborough Airshow, which expressed a shared willingness to raise the bar for quality throughout the supply chain despite the challenges we faced during the deployment. Second, the Tokyo Supplier Forum in 2018, which impressively demonstrated the successful growing AESQ movement around the world with more than 100 participants.