As technology advances, the methods by which we maintain and operate aircraft must also advance. Maintenance, repair and overhaul form a critical component of aviation that has been around since the early days of flight. MRO keeps planes flying safely and efficiently. As aircraft become more complex and new technologies emerge, MRO becomes critical.
MRO benefits any industry that relies on heavy machinery for operations. It is vital for the aviation industry because planes have less room for error. Consider its main components:
Several different activities comprise MRO. Breaking it into these main headers makes it easier for aviation mechanics to ensure they cover all the necessary bases:
While MRO is an aviation standard for quality control, the execution can take many different forms. These differences are evident in the various MRO facilities and repair arrangements now available.
Aviation as we know it is rapidly changing. From new environmental restrictions to rapid technological advances, aviation has adapted and improved rapidly. Some changes failed to stand the test of time, but experts think these four main trends will remain for the foreseeable future.
These are digital replicas of aircraft or aircraft components. Companies use them to test new designs and predict how they will perform in the real world. Some of the biggest names in aviation already use this MRO technology. Airbus, for example, uses digital twins to design new aircraft.
When it comes to maintenance, digital twins make it possible for aviation mechanics to monitor physical components while the plane is in the air. For example, they can see how the wings respond and how well the engine runs. They can then plan maintenance around resolving any potential issues that arise.
Engineers must add thousands of data sensors in strategic locations to create this digital replica. These sensors work together to paint a real-time picture of aircraft performance.
Predictive maintenance is a form of MRO that uses data to prevent problems before they happen. Prevention requires monitoring aircraft components for early signs of wear and tear. Its most advanced stages rely on the same sensors used for digital twinning. It then takes things a step further by incorporating the power of artificial intelligence.
Engineers use predictive maintenance to improve safety, reduce downtime and save money. AI makes it easier to determine what to work on for each aircraft and the perfect time to do so. Consequently, engineers no longer need to rely solely on good memory and a manual log to determine what needs maintenance, repairs or overhauling and when. Perfect timing ensures the following benefits:
Drones have become increasingly common in the world of MRO. Engineers use them for various tasks, such as inspections and even repairs. These machines are handy for hard-to-reach places and areas that pose a high risk for human workers. Drones can even transport parts and tools to technicians.
The main difficulty of using drones stems from regulatory differences around the world. America currently has some of the strictest rules, making it difficult to enjoy the full scope of benefits drones bring to the inspection and MRO process.
U.S. aviation companies may need to consider lobbying for exceptions or rule changes soon. Otherwise, they could fall behind global competitors.
Aviation MRO requires a significant investment in physical assets. These investments range from the space to store and work on aircraft to the machines necessary to accomplish this. Consequently, cloud computing provides the perfect opportunity to remove the need for one set of physical assets: servers and IT space.
The cloud is a great way to manage maintenance schedules and keep track of aircraft components. It also makes it easier to share this data across global MRO teams.
Maintenance, repairs and overhauls generate a great deal of paperwork. Aviation techs rely on this information to remain compliant, track performance and identify issues. Consequently, they need a reliable and secure platform to store the information and help them digitize some of the processes.
Fluix makes it easy to digitize everything from inspections to creating reports. We are proud to serve big players in the aviation market, such as Alaska and Titan Airways. Would you like to see what our MRO technologies can do for you? Contact us to get started.