Hot off the back of Aviation Week’s MRO Americas event last week, here are some of the most notable things that we learnt from the developments, trends and news stories highlighted at the conference.
- Engine OEMs are revving up for the future ahead
As we explained in last week’s blog post, engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are often among the first to embrace new trends and technologies, consequently changing the landscape of the industry.
Pratt & Whitney (PW) and General Electric (GE) stayed true to this at MRO Americas by announcing new products/solutions that will help them better serve customers.
PW, for example, said that the company will be “ready for every Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine customer from day one” when the highly anticipated engine enters into service.
Of course, PW is also looking forward to seeing its customers benefit from the “real and true value” that the engine will bring, including: 16% better fuel burn, 75% better noise and 50% better emissions.
In addition, the OEM championed ‘Big Data’ throughout the event and said that during a flight it will capture a massive 5,000 data parameters on the GTF engine.
And GE was busy showcasing its new ‘TrueChoice’ suite of engine maintenance services, which spans an entire engine lifecycle and aims to give customers more flexibility and choice through “an unmatched breadth of services and materials”.
- ‘Big Data’ is here and it means business
Our previous blog post also discussed how ‘Big Data’ could help to reduce maintenance costs and improve fleet reliability, and this was certainly an area of focus at this year’s conference.
PW joined the data discussion as the key sponsor for the MRO IT Roundtable for the second year and Lynn Fraga, business analytics manager of Engine Services at the company, explained that by applying ‘Big Data’, the OEM is able to deliver more predictable maintenance to its customers, while reducing unscheduled engine removals and improving time on-wing.
However, in spite of the buzz surrounding the topic, it’s clear that some airlines are not equipped to deal with the volume of data that is available, due to operating with old IT systems.
Thus, solutions like ‘Envision’ are becoming increasing popular because they can eliminate the stresses associated with processing the masses of information that products now generate, by providing a solution that allows an end user to manage and analyse important fleet data with ease.
- The global fleet size is set to wow by 2026
As next-generation aircraft enter the market, promising improved fuel-efficiency, cost savings and improved passenger comfort, airlines are upgrading their fleets.
And by 2026, the active fleet is forecasted to be more than 34,400-strong, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4%, according to the 2016 ARSA Market Assessment, prepared by Oliver Wyman – the report predicts that this number will be made up of nearly 21,100 new deliveries, with 11,200 aircraft leaving the fleet and 53% of deliveries being replacement aircraft.
So while many of the aircraft in operation in 2026 will be advanced, next-generation models that are more reliable and require less maintenance, there will still be mature fleets in service thus it’s fair to assume that MRO providers will benefit from the aforementioned fleet growth.
In fact, the report predicts that the MRO business will grow at a rate of 3.9% per year. However, it notes that the four MRO market segments: airframe, engine, component and line MRO, each have different growth profiles.
By 2026, airframe MRO is forecasted to reach $19.2bn at a CAGR of 1.8%; engine MRO should grow by 5.3% to reach $43bn; component MRO is predicated to grow to $18.6bn at a rate of 3.5% per year and line MRO is expected to grow 3.6% per annum to reach $18.1bn.
- MROs and airlines are embracing new repair technologies
In 2015, Oliver Wyman’s MRO Survey predicted that the way in which MRO providers work with aircraft would change as wearable technologies, new repair technologies and additive manufacturing (3D printing) further penetrate the market.
One example of this is easyJet’s work with Blue Bear that has seen the low cost carrier introduce drones into its maintenance processes.
The MRO Survey also explained how most aviation companies would have to manage “overhauls of their ageing IT backbones that inhibit efficient working environments and integration with newer technologies”, in order to run more efficient and cost-effective operations.
Indeed, this has proven to be true because more and more airlines and third party MROs are moving away from the legacy IT systems that are curbing their growth, to embrace forward thinking software solutions that instead support their operations from cockpit to hangar.
For example, products like Rusada’s Envision MRO platform provide a comprehensive view of operations to customers, helping them to plan, manage and review maintenance processes effectively, among many other cost-effective functions.
What’s more, these IT solutions can be accessed via handheld devices like iPads and tablets, which are now commonly used within aviation organisations.
- The top three benefits of using predictive maintenance
The aviation industry is certainly positioning itself as a leader when it comes to predictive maintenance, regularly demonstrating how it can benefit airlines and MROs.
Through predictive maintenance, airlines and MRO providers are able to determine when parts, which are currently in service, need maintenance work carried out on them, in an attempt to prevent part failure and unscheduled (and costly) maintenance events.
And, the findings from Oliver Wyman’s most recent MRO Survey, show that the most common benefits of adopting predicative maintenance, as reported by its participants, were: a reduction in airframe maintenance costs, a reduction in engine maintenance costs and an increase in reliability.
To find out how Envision can help your businesses with predictive maintenance, click here.