Mike Edmonds, Honeywell Aerospace’s president of services and connectivity Honeywell
Mike Edmonds, Honeywell Aerospace’s president of services and connectivity

Honeywell Bullish On Connectivity Services

Mike Edmonds, president of Honeywell Aerospace Services and Connectivity, talks about the company’s recent reorganization and how predictive maintenance has expanded to a broader systems approach.

The business just reorganized and you’re in a new role. How does this impact connectivity services?

We’re now a stand-alone business around connectivity and services. This aligns around initiatives we have of connecting airplanes and utilizing data to create workstream efficiencies for flight crews, maintainers, dispatchers and the end passengers.  I’m after three things. One, monetizing connected airplanes—so satellite terminals and antennas. JetWave is the marquis product. Two, we get paid to keep airplanes connected—reselling connectivity to the aircraft. That’s why we acquired Satcom1—so effectively becoming the AT&T or Verizon of aircraft. And three, monetizing the data that we get from being connected to the airplane.  We’re creating a circle of value for the operators and our shareholders.

What are some examples of how Honeywell is using connectivity to improve maintenance operations?

We were already doing predictive trend monitoring for about 10,000 of our engines. We look at gas-path analysis, fan speed and temperature to understand when an auxiliary power unit or propulsion engine will fail. It’s on a 30-day cycle. The value-add is doing that real time—and extending analytics. We used to focus more on how the APU is working, in a vacuum. Now we’re looking at the complete system. This is something we’ve focused a lot of data analytics on. That’s Connected APU.

We’re looking at greater systems and are doing a four-month study with an airline, where we’ve reduced inoperative equipment by 86%. We’re focused on Honeywell equipment, but we didn’t get there until we looked at the complete system. There’s this ever-expansion with connectivity and more access to data, which allows us to create more value for the operator.

How will Connected APUs and Connected Radar fit within the broader picture?

Ultimately, the Connected APU will result in better asset availability for the airline and reduce costs. The Connected Radar will result in smoother flying, less fuel burn and less damage to the airplane. 

Honeywell produces 84 systems. How will you connect the rest of them?

The same way. I’ve got an engineering team whose job is to figure this out.

We have a dedicated aerospace engineering team whose job is to manage data flow end to end. On the aircraft to the Satcom terminal then from the ground earth stations back to Honeywell to add value--then back to the aircraft again. Sentience is a Honeywell Inc. level software and analytics platform and support team that we leverage to do this for data transit, storage and analytics…as do the other Honeywell Connected Businesses: Connected Car, Connected Home and Building, Connected Plant and Connected Worker.

When we set up Connected APU, we had to automate what used to be manual reporting. Once you’ve set up how you automate that reporting, you can tie it into an airline’s IT directly and then look into how to feed it directly into SAP so the invoice can be cut in the backend. We’re going to do that once—and we did it for Connected APUs—so you don’t have to recreate that for the 84 product lines. That’s set.  You do one, which is the flagship, and you think about the bigger picture when you’re doing it, and you only have to do it once. That’s the same for data integration or billing or the analytics process—you just need different domain experts. All of that is being forged, and we’re getting better and better as we go.

Connected APU and Connected Radar are official products already launched. When will you introduce similar initiatives for wheels/brakes and other systems? What will Honeywell be rolling out in 2017?

For 2017, we’ll have Connected APU and Connected Radar, along with fuel efficiency services, which is Aviaso, and then I’d say most of the others will be ready in early 2018. We have many projects that are in the works, but we’re not ready to discuss them yet.  I don’t like to talk about things until we’ve already done them.

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