Aircraft Maintenance Technology

APR-MAY 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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Large aggregators have access to a huge pool of component data across the aircraft they support and can benchmark operator's performance anonymously against their competitors. Some airlines with close links to each other are even considering shared agreements with aggregators to derive even greater value from sharing intelligence and pooling resources. Over the course of a long-term partnership, an aggregator can monitor the true cost of a part failure — incorporating all the hidden costs mentioned above — and can drive efficiencies by drawing on best practices learned through work for multiple operators. They can also apply their expertise, backed by data, to advise on the best course of action; for example, they can assess whether a failure is due to poor use by the operator or whether warranty recovery is worthwhile. AJW recently partnered with a major OEM to develop an online portal to log and maintain visibility on all its component MRO. Increasingly, we are referring to this type of data-driven, remote partnership as 'virtual MRO', since it can mean servicing a customer without touching a single part directly. We often compare this approach to component MRO to an air traffic control tower, in that it ensures that parts for multiple customers are processed and shipped to their destination in a centralised and efficient way. This type of partnership also lays the groundwork for effective predictive maintenance. Components often reach MRO suppliers without adequate records, which could see a part removed predictively pass the standard tests and go back into service on the brink of failing. A structured approach to data management and handling can help avoid the risk of this happening. CONCLUSION The aviation industry is notorious for its relentless focus on efficiency and streamlining — from the single olive that allegedly saved American Airlines $40,000 in the 1980s to the no-frills war between low-cost carriers that has recently diversified to include long-haul flights. You might assume that against this backdrop, operators have iron-clad systems in place to ensure parts are maintained and repaired as efficiently as possible. However, the reality is that MRO — particularly component MRO — is one of the most complicated processes that operators have to negotiate — involving potentially millions of part numbers. For decades, operators have had to make do by forming patchwork agreements with local MRO providers, but thanks to the emergence of MRO aggregators, combined with advances in technology and data management, operators are finding new and innovative ways of taking on the challenge. CHRISTOPHER WHITESIDE is president and CEO of AJW Group. For more information visit An aggregator can monitor the true cost of a part failure — incorporating all the hidden costs — and can drive efficiencies by drawing on best practice learned through work for multiple operators. ENGINE IN TELLIGENCE. HUMAN E X PERTISE. At Pratt & Whitney's Customer Training Center, we present innovative learning experiences – including 3D and VR, online and hands-on – to support your maintenance, engine performance and fleet management needs. Our team is dedicated to advancing jet engine knowledge and maintenance techniques. Backed by our EngineWise global network to support you anytime, anywhere. Learn more at 35

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