30 Okt A380 Seat Refurbishment for EFW and Quantas
Many aerospace companies outsource sub-processes in their aircraft maintenance work to external service providers in order to be faster and more cost-oriented. This was also the case for our customers EFW (Elbe Flugzeugwerke) and Quantas, who handed over part of the interior modification of an Airbus A380 to our ARTS project team, thereby increasing the overall speed of their aircraft maintenance.
Our contract involved the refurbishment of the economy class seats, including removal and reinstallation, as well as the replacement of the carpets and cable ducts in the floor area. The project team consisted of 15 people who came from different professions in the aerospace industry. A mixture of aircraft mechanics, aircraft electronics technicians, construction mechanics, metalworkers, painters and coaters, plastics processors CFRP and GRP and also a floor layer / interior decorator. All project participants received appropriate training before the start of the contract in order to meet the high requirements of the clients Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) and Qantas.
Our aircraft maintenance team removed the seats from the aircraft and then transported them to our own ARTS location for further processing. Depending on the component, various task were carried out on the seats as part of the seat refurbishment, such as changing the upholstery and seat covers and repairing sockets or AC connectors. If we noticed further damage to the seat components during this work, we documented these complaints in a defect report and informed the customer accordingly. The customer then decided how to proceed.
Parallel to this work, our Carpet team removed the old carpets from the A380 in the upper and lower decks. The new carpets for the upper deck were then cut to size in our Carpet Shop based on the drawings provided by the customer and then brought to the EFW factory, where our team then laid the carpets again in the A380. For the main deck in the lower area we already received pre-fabricated kits and could lay the already cut carpets – but we had to make adjustments from time to time because the delivered carpets did not fit exactly. In addition to the work we carried out, we also undertook quality checks to avoid sources of error. An incorrect cut in the Carpet Shop costs a lot of time if the errors have to be repaired on site in the aircraft. So, we prefer to check once more beforehand.
The so-called raceways are the cable ducts in the floor of the aircraft. During the renewal of the carpets, these were also removed. The new raceways were then installed according to the technical drawings so that the aircraft cables could be laid safely and space-saving.
Teamwork at a high level
The most important thing about our work, apart from flexibility and the willingness to constantly change, is above all an exact way of working. For example, when we receive our customer’s technical drawings, we need the knowledge to read them correctly and then to implement them correctly. The aim is to ensure that our colleagues can continue to work trouble-free later on during installation in the aircraft.
In order to be able to keep to the time frames specified by the customer for individual work packages, we already clarify during the initial inspection of the machine how high the work scopes are and what the exact customer requirements are for the modifications. This saves us time-consuming subsequent adjustments or modifications later on. The client then uses the so-called Finding List to determine exactly which work the team will take on.
What always enriches us in our daily work is that team members come from different nations. In the EFW / Quantas project it was Germany, England and Poland. We all communicate with each other in English so that everyone understands everyone else and because it is the main language in aviation. All drawings and documents are written in English. Our different backgrounds make us a very solution-oriented team, as everyone brings a different perspective and their own experience to problems.
That's why we love working in the aerospace industry.
Aircraft maintenance projects like the one described always get us excited about our work. Seeing the sheer mass of an A380 of over 500 tonnes rise into the air and, on the other hand, being able to walk upright through the engines without hitting your head is always an impressive experience. The amount of work done on these aircraft – the size and scope of the maintenance projects – is also almost unique.