Aircraft IT MRO – Spring 2012

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Aircraft IT MRO – Spring 2012 Cover

Articles

Name Author
How I see IT Michael Wm. Denis View article
Case Study: TAP M&Eā€™s RFID Project ā€” Keeping track of parts and process Fernando Ferreira Matos, Head of Information Technologies, TAP Maintenance & Engineering View article
White Paper: MRO IT Project Management ā€” Project initiation Wesley Parfitt, CEO, EnvelopeAPM Inc. View article
Case Study: Driving the Line ā€“ Line Maintenance Control Software Alan McCartney, Planning, Scheduling & Airworthiness Manager, Loganair View article

How I see IT

Author: Michael Wm. Denis

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These are exciting times for aerospace, aviation maintenance and information technology. Although current developments are not all positive, there are so many trend s which should lead even the casual observer to be invigorated.

New generation aircraft, engines, avionics and composites are fundamentally changing how maintenance is executed. At the same time, eEnabled aircraft are driving real-time, condition-based maintenance; diagnostics; prognostics and asset health management for the individual aircraft at fleet level. Autonomics extend these capabilities across the logistics and supply network from operators to OEMs and MROs thus completing the global sustainment ecosystem.

On the information technology front, n-tiered (multi-layered) ser vices oriented architectures (SOA) utilizing enterprise ser vice bus (ESB) capabilities are enabling cloud computing delivery of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and mass collaborative business process outsourcing (BPO). Commoditization (iPads, ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), social networking) and virtualization are driving the cost of IT down while simultaneously increasing usability, adoption and mobility.

At the crossroads of aerospace, business and technology is closing the total lifecycle gaps between OEMs’ design and manufacturing ‘product’ processes, and airlines’ operation and maintenance ‘service’ processes. Pro duct lifecycle management (PLM), the OEM’s view, has been combined with service lifecycle management (SLM), the operator’s view, to achieve total lifecycle management via multi- dimensional configuration management.

Industry standards are also evolving. A4A SPEC2000, iSPEC 2200 and SPEC 2300 are consolidating with the ASD SX000i family of standards and replacing a myriad of military data and technology interoperability specifications (MIL-SPECs). ASD S1000D document and XLM schema-based content management are critical specifications for enabling both ‘human consumption’ of content as well as ‘technology consumption’ of Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals / Publications (IETM/IETP). From ASD S4000M autonomic integration of on-board condition data to off-board health management systems, maintenance packaging and scheduling systems, and a mechanic’s IETP as well as the global supply network, can only be realized by these new industry data and process standards. While, at the same time, ASD S5000F closes the SLM to PLM feedback loop.

Regulatory standardization across governmental organizations combined with industry standards and new generation technologies promises to decrease the USD$7 billion burden on the leasing industry and aircraft operators. IATA’s Maintenance Cost Task Force is working across industry lines with airlines, lessors, MROs, OEMs, ICAO and regulatory bodies to standardize lease contracts, aircraft maintenance reserve conditions, asset return conditions and aircraft records management. Information technologies and content management standard s play a significant role in achieving quality, cost and ‘turn time’ goals.

Fourth generation MRO network business models are consolidating asset financing, ‘cost per flight hour’ bundled ser vices, flight operations optimization, engineering, maintenance, logistics, parts pooling, and are only achievable through the information technology initiatives described above.

Yes, these are definitely exciting times for our industry.

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