Quality and safety are givens in our industry—they are non-negotiable, opposed to price. How long do you think it will be before data “outcomes” is added to the list of implied necessities?
It could be faster than you think. Digital transformation is happening at the micro and macro level.
At the simplest level, data sharing, which plagued the industry in the past (from what to share to how to share it) is progressing.
Look at recent developments. In June, Swiss AviationSoftware unveiled AMOScentral, which allows data to flow between a gateway so it can be passed back and forth between two subscribers. To be developed over the next couple of years, cloud-based AMOScentral will be designed to allow customers to virtually collaborate with other AMOS members “and beyond.” (See our software story on MRO12 that does a great job explaining digital developments.)
Along the same theme, last November, GE and Capgemini made a splash by launching Configuration Data Exchange, which is being designed to allow airlines, MROs, OEMs and lessors to flow data between themselves in a software agnostic way.
Beyond data-sharing progress, hardware innovations are enhancing the data distribution. For instance, at the Paris Air Show, Airbus announced selection of Rockwell Collins for its FOMAX (flight operations and maintenance exchanger) program on the A320 family, which provides the infrastructure to send aircraft maintenance and performance data wirelessly to the ground as well as to mobile applications used by flight crews. At the heart of the system is a small onboard connectivity unit that collects the performance data through a secure server router.
GE and Teledyne Controls forged a similar partnership last November that involves using Teledyne’s GroundLink technology to continuously send engine data wirelessly to GE for engine health monitoring through Predix.
So the next piece is progressing too. While it’s great to seamlessly share and transmit data, you still have to do something with it.
That’s where the next advancements come. At the Paris Air Show, Airbus and Boeing both launched data analytics platforms for the industry to reduce operational disruptions and aid predictive maintenance and efficiencies. Airbus’ Skywise open-data platform, launched in collaboration with Silcon-Valley based Palantir Technologies, started by focusing on internal Airbus oprations but is now expanding to the aviation ecosystem. Airbus says operators will gain new insights from their own data via Skywise by storing, accessing, managing and analyzing their data, within a global fleet context, without having to invest in infrastructure.
Boeing, through its corporate restructuring and launch of Boeing Global Services on July 1 (see MROX) is bringing together its analytics-driven products and services (from Jeppesen and AerData to products such as Toolbox and Fuel Dashboard) and its data scientists into Boeing AnalytX, which will focus on maintenance and engineering, flight operations, crew and supply chain efficiencies.
Both Airbus and Boeing announced customers for their new services at the airshow—Delta Air Lines being the only one that signed up for both. Delta is working with Airbus to develop predictive solutions on Skywise, which follows its use of Airbus’ Prognostics and Risk Management application for A330s in 2016, as well as with Boeing via a contract for Airplane Health Management on its Boeing 717 fleet, which means the airline is now using AHM for its 717s, 737s, 747, 767s and 777s.
These airframe platforms add to the digital analytical options from GE (Predix), Lufthansa Technik (Aviatar) and AFI KLM (Prognos), as well as the analytics and trend monitoring options from the engine OEMs, which were early leaders in health monitoring.
While this all focuses on Big Data and the Internet of the Internet of Things, Tim Butler, Tego CEO says in his Viewpoint on page MRO28 that the industry should be more focused on the Things part of the Internet of Things: making each asset smart.
Either way, the digital transformation is happening and you should be on the journey. I really don’t think it will be too long before data “outcomes” are implied in MRO. Are you on the journey? If not, what’s holding you back?