Trends in MRO to Watch out in 2021

Trends in MRO to Watch out in 2021

At a time when maintenance costs are higher than fuel costs, some airlines are looking to digital technology to continuously monitor vital physical assets, such as engines, in real-time, enabling them to plan maintenance much more effectively.

FREMONT, CA: Industry 4.0 is making its way to the aviation industry, and a number of airlines and MROs are already testing high-tech solutions to improve their operations and remain competitive. Indeed, the commercial aviation sector is leading the way when it comes to certain disruptive technologies, like additive manufacturing, and this trend is set to continue.

Digital Twins – a New Standard for Maintenance

At a time when maintenance costs are higher than fuel costs, some airlines are looking to digital technology to continuously monitor vital physical assets, such as engines, in real-time, enabling them to plan maintenance much more effectively.

Implementation of this method requires forward thinking, as engineers, for example, must equip the engine with thousands of data points in the early design and manufacturing phases.

These data points are then used to create a digital model that tracks and monitors the engine in real-time, providing ground engineers with essential information such as engine temperature, pressure, and airflow.

Reducing Digital Twins with AOGs

Using digital twin technology, the airline will have a much better chance of predicting and avoiding potential AOGs, as it will be capable of continuously monitor critical aircraft assets as well as have a maintenance plan ready before the aircraft has even landed.

The problems with the landing gear are a common cause of delays, as they are usually not detected until after pushback from the gate. GE has recently helped to create the world's first digital twin for the aircraft landing gear as a solution to this problem.

By adding sensors to the landing gear and analysing this data, it is possible to minimise downtime by predicting early malfunctions and diagnosing the remaining life-cycle of the landing gear.

Although the technology is still ripening, there is already a lot to gain from the use of Digital Twins in aircraft maintenance. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), companies investing in digital twin technology are expected to see a 30% improvement in critical process cycle times, including maintenance.

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