Aerospace tooling stands tall

CFM’s LEAP 1B engine stands
CFM’s LEAP 1B engine stands

Mike Richardson hears the views of aerospace maintenance tooling specialists, Dedienne Aerospace and how its large array of aircraft tooling, engine tooling and ground support equipment has enabled it to establish strong partnerships with the major aerospace OEMs around the world.

Aerospace maintenance tooling specialist Dedienne Aerospace is dedicated to civil and defence markets. With more than 60 years of expertise in the aerospace maintenance equipment, including aircraft tooling, engine tooling, ground support equipment (GSE) and aftermarket services, the company has built strong relationships of confidence throughout the years and is an official licensee for most of aircraft and engine manufacturers, including CFM (CFM56, LEAP), Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, UTAS, GE, Rolls-Royce and IAE.

According to Dedienne Aerospace’s CEO, Cédric Barbe, the company is committed to providing customers with the best level of aftermarket services comprising repair, calibration, upgrade, training, spare-parts, and friendly-user products.

“Would you buy a car if you knew that the maintenance garage was located on the other side of the country,” he begins. “No. Well, it's the same for our tooling. Our customers buy our products because they know they will have our technical support and close proximity. As tooling experts, we are available and flexible, thanks to our global presence. Our close proximity to the majority of OEMs gives us a huge advantage: we master all the different phases of the product lifecycle, from conception to delivery. We know how to repair products and how they can be upgraded.

“Let’s take the example of the engine stand. We’ve worked for many years with most of the major aero-engine manufacturers; we support their image and have their confidence. But we have more. We undertake work studies, conceive prototypes and design ‘dummy’ engines, test benches and setup the industrial means to make the best products, easy to use with the highest quality level. When we receive a customer’s engine stand, we have all the engineering and the industrial capabilities to satisfy their requests, including calculations, upgrades, load testing, certifications and repair engineering, and much more.

“All this added value is wrapped up within the DNA of our products. With these skills, we can quickly respond to urgent customer requirements. When our clients are faced with a serious aircraft on ground (AOG) situation, it’s the speed of our business decisions that matters to them the most.”

Cédric Barbe Dedienne Aerospace
Cédric Barbe, CEO of Dedienne Aerospace

Right attitude for altitude

It’s Barbe’s view that today’s customers are looking for reliable, user-friendly products and competitive prices. They also wish to benefit from reactive and mobile technical support that can assist them in training, repairs, upgrades and calibrations, etc.

“We always go further by helping customers manage their tooling fleet. Thanks to our partnership with a digital company called ToolLive, we’re involved in the Internet of Things world and the development of ‘connected’ tooling. Predictive maintenance allows us to handle the tooling lifecycle and manage big tooling fleets. With this maintenance follow-up, we know which tools must be overhauled and which ones must be upgraded or calibrated.

“Our customers don’t need to care about anything - we take care of their whole tooling fleet. They save time, money and they know where their tooling is located and that it is up-to-date. Our offer of premium support to our customers is more than a commitment - it embodies our philosophy: customer service is not a ‘department’, but an attitude by Dedienne Aerospace.”

Dedienne Aerospace operates in an aerospace market that requires constant focus on the ability to evolve and accelerate. Barbe says the company’s primary commitment is to provide its customers with the finest quality products, as well as premium customer service and support.

“Our teams are always on duty around the world and they’re ready to help our customers with optimised services and solutions for every situation. For our customer AirAsia, we’ve developed a new innovative GSE product for faster servicing for hydraulic accumulators called the nitrogen backpack. It allows the aircraft hydraulic accumulators to be charged in less than 5 minutes and needs only one operator for servicing.

“Lightweight, easy to use and transport, the nitrogen backpack simplifies daily aircraft maintenance, thanks to its compatibility with all aircraft. It replaces the servicing carts, which take double the time and need twice the number of operators. Airlines can save significant amounts of time and money during an aircraft slot between each tactical arrival time (TAT). The nitrogen backpack offers our customers great opportunities to reduce costs and benefit from an attractive and innovative product.”

When it comes to underlining the most important assets of a company, Barbe points to Dedienne Aerospace’s people, its history and its products.

“All these factors belong to the DNA of Dedienne Aerospace. We want to share this experience with our customers, our colleagues and our partners. We’re not just a company, but a way of thinking. We’ve chosen the proximity in our exchanges, our communication, our mentality, our multicultural team. There are no countries, but ‘one world’ and we want to be everywhere at once.

“We’re passionate about what we do in this industry. It’s important to maintain focus on our objectives and have the ability to look at things differently. As a curator of many artists, Dedienne Aerospace encourages contemporary art and creation, because art gives us another vision. We can open our minds and see better with a fresh pair of eyes.

“Our technical expertise is one of the most important assets that differentiates us from our competitors. Our experience has gained the trust of the OEMs and we’ve developed many products from conception to industrialisation.

“This know-how in R&D gives a high added value to our products and services. We’re not only the seller of engine stands, we’re the designer too. Our customer services know which spare parts our customers will need and we have dummy engines to fit and bench test them too. This 360° service is our major asset. Whatever the customer requests, Dedienne Aerospace has the solution and we take very seriously our customer satisfaction because behind the products, we’re faces and voices.”

Engine stands by Dedienne Aerospace
Engine stands in the Toulouse factory, France

Smart tool revolution

Looking ahead to the future, the industry is undergoing a digital revolution. The entire landscape is changing, so alongside Dedienne Aerospace’s partner ToolLive, the company’s tooling is now being connected to the Internet of Things.

“This allows us to collect important data and operate predictive maintenance, geolocation and integration of augmented reality modules,” Barbe concludes. “The objective here is to increase the availability of materials and reduce any risks related to human factors. A test campaign has already begun with some of our customers and the solution will be deployed widely by the end of the year.

“What is the next step for our business? Perhaps reducing the cost of ownership. The most important thing for our customers is to have serviceable tools. Maybe the challenge will be to use the tools without being the owner with leasing solutions. We have to be able to develop solutions which can overcome this challenge. We have to continue developing services around tools and provide them when our customers need them.”

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