GE-Predix.jpg GE Aviation

Why GE Bought AirVault

How combining the Web-based maintenance records company with Predix could unlock maintenance data.

GE Aviation and its parent company’s appetite for digital acquisitions continues with the purchase on March 24 of Critical Technologies, branded as AirVault, the provider of cloud-based digital records management. Neither GE or AirVault disclosed the acquisition price but said the deal closed on March 24.

By combining AirVault’s web-based maintenance records with GE’s Predix analytics platform, the combination could bring disparate data together to increase maintenance effectiveness through GE’s Configuration Data Exchange. The exchange, launched with Capgemini on Nov. 13, allows airlines, MROs, lessors, parts distributors and OEMs to electronically send information between themselves—from different data types.

When asked why AirVault selected GE, John Oldham, AirVault’s CEO, tells MRO Network that “GE Aviation and AirVault have worked very well together to establish digital connections to manage the flow of aircraft maintenance records across aviation maintenance networks, and when combined with GE Aviation Digital’s data analytics expertise in flight operations, it should help drive greater operational efficiencies.” He says AirVault manages maintenance records for more than 50% of the North American commercial aircraft fleet, including passenger and cargo airlines, as well as civil helicopter operations.

GE will offer AirVault’s platform in the GE Store, “for use across many other industrial markets,” says Oldham.

AirVault was officially launched at MRO Americas in 2011. “The company’s patient investors fully supported AirVault’s rapid customer growth and were satisfied to simply wait for the optimum time to sell, ultimately finding the perfect acquisition partner in GE Aviation Digital Solutions,” says Oldham.

GE Digital also recently also purchased Meridium, ServiceMax and Bit Stew.

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