by Joy Finnegan, Editor in Chief, Aviation Maintenance Magazine
We are closing another year. Does time seem to move faster with each passing year for you as well? Perhaps this is simply a sign of getting older. But one thing is true, with the technology and connectivity of today, business moves at much faster rates than in previous eras and if you are not keeping up with technology, your business won’t keep up with the competition.
Earlier this year, in our June/July issue, we highlighted some MRO innovators who shared with us what their companies are doing to improve their operations. We looked at real-time tracking of engine parts, rapid repair processes for composite structures using robotics, customer communications portals and company-wide innovation initiatives at MROs around the world.
In this issue we are taking a look at “Big Data” and how that sector of technology is, or will be, impacting MRO. With the fierce competition of our industry, using all available information is really the only way to survive, compete and improve. The world of big data is futuristic and not going to make an impact on the shop floor immediately but that will change soon.
I remember covering health and usage monitoring (HUMS) for helicopters many years ago when they were first being introduced. The overriding consensus at that time was that the technology was amazing and the data prolific but the process of getting that data in an understandable format to the maintainer to utilize in a predictive way was somehow lacking. Hopefully, those early years of use will benefit the coming tsunami of information that big data for MRO is going to flood the industry with. The need to get the information to those that will ultimately be able to use it is paramount.
To that end, some inroads are being made right now to help manufacturers, operators and maintainers work together to prevent downtime using big data. Engine manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney and GE Aviation are leading the way.
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