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GE Aviation Steps Up Its Predictive Maintenance Efforts

The data push follows parent company GE’s investment in a group-wide facility employing 1,100 data scientists who specialize in identifying signatures in big data flows.

MADRID--GE Aviation is increasing its investment in big data analytics to flag potential engine performance trouble spots and has used some of this learning to revamp its engine support portal, company executives said.

Speaking at MRO Europe in Madrid, GE Aviation general manager services marketing Bill Dwyer said the company’s focus is now on prognostics, or using data to turn unscheduled events into scheduled maintenance.

The data push follows parent company GE’s investment in a group-wide facility employing 1,100 data scientists who specialize in identifying signatures in big data flows. In the field of aviation, this work is complemented by GE Aviation’s 2012 joint venture with Accenture, named Taleris, which uses whole-aircraft data to predict potential failures.

While Taleris is a standalone operation, some of its algorithms for processing large volumes of data and flagging non-standard occurrences have been used to update GE Aviation’s customer portal, which was in dire need of a refresh.

“We heard that some of our customers would rather Google than use our website portal,” said GE director of product marketing Greg Coons.

This risked the use of out of date information, rather than the latest service updates, which were available on the portal but hidden behind a clunky 1990s-style browser. This required a massive amount of data, entered into a database-style form, and about dozen clicks to get a result.

“If you can’t see it [the data], you can’t benefit from it,” said Coons.

Conversely, the new myGEAviation.com portal is asset-led, so an operator only has to type in an engine or aircraft serial number to see the relevant metrics, charts, bulletins and alerts. It is updated either in pseudo real-time through ACARS, or on data download after landing, with roughly 15 minutes lag between GE Aviation receiving the data and it being available on the system.

Operators can also compare their engine performance with the worldwide fleet averages and customize the portal through a series of widgets. Coons compared it to a mobile phone, where two people can use the same brand, but have very different, personalized set-ups.

“People just want to get answers, so we have tried to reduce the number of clicks by 50%. It may not seem like a lot, but we are talking hours and hours per week, which can be spent doing other things,” he said.

GE Aviation has been developing the new portal over the last two years. Beta testing began September 2013 and GE Aviation is aiming to complete the roll out to all its customers by early 2015, when the legacy Customer Web Center will be phased out.

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