AMSTERDAM—Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is taking another step in its digital strategy, blending digital analytics with its engineering expertise to make component maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) more predictive.
In the first quarter of 2017, LHT will launch an independent platform, Condition Analytics, to precisely predict when components should be replaced.
Like Big Data, “Predictive maintenance is becoming a buzzword. We’re changing this by having condition monitoring integrated with predictive to show the state of an aircraft and its future state,” said Jan Stoevesand, head of analytics and data intelligence in information management at LHT. The tool, which can be used with mixed fleet and is not predicated on being part of an LHT support contract, is designed to maximize component reliability, availability and safety.
“We’re joining teams of engineers, data scientists and data architects to correlate causality to save operators money,” Stoevesand said. This collocated team approaches replaces a team previously dominated by troubleshooting and condition monitoring. The group analyzes flight and MRO data to continuously develop use cases, and after developing the analytical model, the team analyzes customer data to show results.
“Now, it’s more predictive and we can deep-drill use case by use case,” to deliver results faster—within weeks—instead of months or years, Stoevesand said.
For example, Condition Analytics saved 1% in fuel burn by identifying that an aircraft’s flight controls were not flush and needed to be re-rigged, said Helge Sachs, LHT vice president of corporate innovation and production development.
LHT acknowledges that the major engines are all working on digital-analytics platforms to enhance predictive maintenance, but it differentiates Condition Analytics as a tool pairing analytics and engineering know-how. “Analytics platforms are just tools,” said Sachs.
“We are confident that we will play a major role in the industry and it won’t be all OEM dominated,” said Stoevesand.
Sachs said LHT hopes to have a launch customer outside of the Lufthansa group soon.