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WHITE PAPER: A paradigm shift to more efficient aircraft fleet maintenance
Author: Christine Windmeijer, ReMAP’s Public RelationsSubscribe
ReMAP will contribute to reinforce the European leadership in aeronautics by developing an open-source solution for aircraft maintenance, the Integrated Fleet Health Management (IFHM) system. By replacing fixed-interval inspections with adaptive condition-based interventions, ReMAP will have an estimated benefit to the European aviation of more than 700 million Euros per year. This is due to a direct decrease in maintenance costs, reduced unscheduled aircraft maintenance events, and increased aircraft availability.
Real-time Condition-based Maintenance for Adaptative Aircraft Maintenance Planning
ReMAP will contribute to reinforce the European leadership in aeronautics by developing an open-source solution for aircraft maintenance, the Integrated Fleet Health Management (IFHM) system. By replacing fixed-interval inspections with adaptive condition-based interventions, ReMAP will have an estimated benefit to the European aviation of more than 700 million Euros per year. This is due to a direct decrease in maintenance costs, reduced unscheduled aircraft maintenance events, and increased aircraft availability. ReMAP is a European project aimed to make the maintenance of aircraft fleet smarter and more efficient.
Most maintenance in aviation is preventive, meaning that many systems and components are inspected while they are still in good health. Airplane maintenance is pre-scheduled according to fixed intervals, which are determined by flight hours, flight cycles or calendar days, whichever comes first. This method leads to over maintenance, due to the fact that the parts replaced may still be in good condition and haven’t still achieved the end of its useful live.
In the last decades modern airplanes developed into complex systems which generate terabytes of data per day. This data could be used in a far more efficient way and provide a reliable estimate of the remaining
useful lifetime of airplane parts. This reduces the need for manual inspections, and allows adaptive maintenance intervals, or Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) maintenance.
What are we aiming at?
ReMAP will demonstrate cost and safety benefits, propose standards and support the certification of CBM for aircraft structure and systems, paving the way for the implementation of CBM in the European air transport system.
1. ReMAPs’ health monitoring system consisting of diagnostics, prognostics and alerts will result in 20% less unscheduled maintenance and 4% less delay due to unexpected technical findings.
2. ReMAPs’ optimized maintenance schedule and packaging will result in 8% less maintenance checks, 2,5% lower maintenance elapse times and 10% less unscheduled removals per year.
3. ReMAP will update and improve aircraft availability with 140 minutes less delay per year and 1.2 days extra of operations.
How do we plan to do this?
ReMAP wants to use health diagnostics and prognostics to switch to real-time condition-based interventions. The advancements in sensing technologies, computer and data science allow us today to follow this new approach. In ReMAP, a fleet management tool will analyse more than one thousand sensors placed on board the aircraft, and trigger notifications whenever a part needs to be repaired. Probabilistic data-driven machine learning techniques will be used to diagnosis real-time damage and
estimate the remaining useful life of structures, while a hybrid physics and data-based approach will be followed for systems prognosis and health management. ReMAP solution will be demonstrated in a 6- month operational environment in two different aircraft fleets of KLM, a Boeing and an Embraer.
How does this relate to safety?
The idea of condition-based maintenance is not new. The Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE) envisages CBM to be the standard for all new airplanes by 2050. By 2035, ACARE already foresees that this CBM philosophy will be accepted as a standard approach to monitor aircraft health and to plan aircraft maintenance. Application of CBM in aviation nowadays is still minimal and there is no roadmap for its implementation. ReMAP wants to provide this roadmap and prove that the current safety level can be maintained or even improved.
How will the passengers benefit from this?
ReMAP may pave the way for a paradigm shift in airplane maintenance and save up to 700 million euros in maintenance costs per year for Europe alone. Reduction of systems redundancy and reducing complexity will reduce costs even further. This could be translated into reduction of travel costs. Delays and cancellations of flights due to unexpected technical findings can also be reduced.
Who are we?
ReMAP consortium gathers 13 members, from 7 European countries covering the entire value chain of CBM: from an airline and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)-industry (KLM); aero structures
suppliers (Embraer, Optimal Structural Solutions); sensor technologies developers (CEDRAT Technologies, Smartec), two renowned research centres (UTRC-Ireland and ONERA), four universities (ENSAM; Delft University of Technology; University of Coimbra and University of Patras), and IT services corporation (ATOS Spain), and a technology transfer institute (Instituto Pedro Nunes).
The consortium is also being supported by an Advisory Board constituted by renewed entities in the aviation industry, such as Airbus SAS; Embraer SA; EASA; Collins Aerospace, Prof. Fu-Kuo Chang (Stanford University), Royal Netherlands Air Force, Thales avionics and Dassault Aviation.
The funding scheme
ReMAP is being supported by a research grant from H2020 Programme, the largest financial instrument dedicated to boost innovation in Europe. Learn more about ReMAP at https://h2020-remap.eu/ and follow us on Twitter – @h2020_ReMAP.EU, LinkedIn – h2020-ReMAP and YouTube – H2020ReMAP.