Arlington, Va. — Honeywell, having demonstrated the effectiveness of its GoDirect Maintenance Services (GMS) prescriptive MRO analytics offering on auxiliary power units (APUs), plans to expand the capabilities to other subsystems and even non-Honeywell products, company executives say.
“We started with the APU because it was a specific problem identified by an airline customer,” Abhi Seth, Honeywell’s senior director, Data Science and Analytics, told MRO-Network.com on the sidelines of an aircraft connectivity conference here. “We can take this and apply it to other components, including non-Honeywell components. It all depends on what the customer wants."
The system's key, adds Roman Lopatko, Honeywell’s senior director, Strategic Marketing, is leveraging different datasets. GMS starts with the fault data being generated from the component or subsystem itself—the so-called physical data. It then factors in other variables, such as flight-segment parameters and environmental conditions, to better understand failure modes. Once those modes are understood, Honeywell can recommend fixes.
“When an issue is detected, we give the airline a specific action, right down to replacing a part,” Lopatko says.The system is customizable by customer. For instance, some airlines want to know when actions need to be taken within a three-day window, Lopatko says, but some may want the window to be larger. Regardless of the variables,, GMS's goal is simple: warn of an imminent failure that, if not addressed, will likely result in a schedule disruption.
Honeywell has two announced GMS customers: Hainan Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Both are using the service on APUs. Hainan was the first announced customer, but the deal came on the heels of a year-long trial in which Honeywell worked with Cathay to develop and fine-tune its system before going to market.
Cathay was experiencing reliability issues with its Honeywell-supplied Airbus A330 APUs, due in part to the stress of hot and humid conditions the carrier’s aircraft regularly experience. Beyond creating headaches for the airline’s operations team, the challenges—which affected the air-conditioning systems--were leaving plane-loads of passengers uncomfortable as aircraft sat on the tarmac.
With GMS running, Cathay has seen a 35% reduction in in-service APU issues, and the system’s accuracy in pinpointing issues—and the subsequent recommendations--is about 99%.
While Hainan and Cathay are the only announced GMS customers, Lopatko says Honeywell is working with several other operators.
“Our message is simple: there is a lot of untapped potentiaial in the data that’s already available,” he adds.