Digitizing the immense volumes of aircraft and component manuals, technical publications and illustrated part catalogues has certainly made maintenance easier. But what if engineers and mechanics have to go to different systems, learn different methods and language to work with the digital manuals of each airframe, engine or component manufacturer?
Fleet Solution Manager John Zawlocki argues that his firm, Flatirons Solutions, has a better way. For about a quarter of a century, Flatirons has worked with the major engine OEMs, the top 10 U.S. airlines and many other major carriers and MROs to provide an easier one-stop shop for creating, distributing and using technical documents across models and manufacturers.
Flatirons Corena suite of applications aims to “receive and augment technical pubs, implement paperless, improve regulatory compliance and provide a single-source solution for all manuals and work cards,” Zawlocki summarizes. The result should be more efficient maintenance, both in back offices where engineers edit manuals and in hangars and on the line, where mechanics use them.
For example, Flatirons’ Corena suite includes Studio for what-you-see-is-what-you-get authoring and editing of maintenance manuals. Studio automatically imports new content from OEMs that changes maintenance procedures. Then it enables engineers to spot, with simple clicks of a Next icon, each place where the OEM has modified a manual instruction that an airline or shop has also previously modified. The two versions are displayed, side by side, on different PC screens, or split vertically on one screen. The editor can then easily reject or accept the new OEM change or take more time to combine the OEM change with the company’s own change. A thorough audit trail is retained of all decisions.
Corena’s Pinpoint and Pinpoint Mobile give mechanics access to exactly the documents they need to troubleshoot or complete repairs. Fault codes or descriptions are entered on a screen, then the tool searches manuals for all references to the problem. Pulling up a given manual reference, the mechanic gets recommended repair or replacement steps, and pop-up illustrations of the part(s) to be fixed. Digital work cards are filled out as the repair is completed and then pushed as e-signed e-documents or as signed PDFs to the maintenance management system, for example Swiss-AS’s AMOS.
Other Corena tools such as Insight 7 are designed to help managers determine best practice workflows. The Corena suite is not a maintenance management, execution or planning tool, only a document application. But in a world where documents are so important to safe and efficient maintenance, that can be quite useful.