V2.1 • FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013RFID FOR INVENTORY EVERYONE’S A WINNERMANAGEMENT Organising and sharing data means we all gainDelta knows where everything is INPUT ANYWHEREFROM PAPER TO PURPOSEFUL READ EVERYWHEREScanning records helps match data to jobs Living in a world of informationWhite Paper: Aircraft Data Systems (ADS), Air Works Case Study: Delta Airlines, Jet Airways Vendor Job Card: TRAXColumn: ‘How I see IT’, what can we learn from ACG v Olympic Airlines plus… News, Webinars, MRO Software Directorys
12 | CASE STUDY: DELTA AIRLINES | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 “It may not be difficult to keep track of life limited parts on one aircraft, but for Delta’s fleet of more than 700 aircraft, that equates to about 140,000 life vests, over 40,000 oxygen generators and more.” flying all over the world add further to the challenge of tracking life limited parts. To be safe and remain in compliance, life limited parts are checked regularly to ensure that no items remain in service beyond their expiration date. Depending on the type of maintenance program, items like oxygen generators are checked while the aircraft is in for the equivalent of a C-Check, or about every 18-24 months. The overhead passenger service units (PSUs) are opened so dates on the oxygen generators can be visually checked. At that time, mechanics read the date of manufacture, which may involve loosening a bracket, rotating the generator so the data placard is visible, reading the date and then reinstalling the bracket. Life vests are managed in a similar manner, with lots of time spent crawling around the floor looking under a seat cushion to check a date. A calculation to determine the remaining service life is done to make sure the item will not expire before the next check, allowing for an appropriate safety margin. If it is determined that the part will still be serviceable until the next scheduled visit date, the mechanic tightens everything up and moves on to the next location. For comparison, there can be approximately 60 oxygen generators on a typical B737 to 200 or more on a B777 — depending on theLeading the Way with manufacturer and must be replaced after a certain configuration and there can be hundreds of life vests amount of time — whether in service or sitting on a that require inspection. It can be very time-consuming shelf. These are not generally tracked as well as Repairable to check each part, taking from a few hours to a whole inventory and require time consuming inspections to shift or more.Inventory Management confirm serviceability. They can also be quite expensive. Not only is the inspection process tedious, but the Knowing when to purchase or replace life limited chance of collateral damage to other parts is significant parts to minimize under-utilization or expiration may — standing on seats to be able to read the small text seem like a small thing, but there are several installed on data placards, pinching wires or tubes when latching on any one aircraft and just one that is missing or the PSUs, accidentally activating the generator (which expired can ground or delay that multi-million dollar heats to about 350F), etc. Multiply that by a fleet of working asset. Items like passenger oxygen generators 40,000 generators or 140,000 life vests and you have aRick Lewis, Business Analyst, Delta Air Lines, Atlanta TechOps explains (that supply oxygen to the masks that lie above significant workload. Without the data being captured passengers’ heads), life vests, first aid kits, protective in a record keeping system, this same cycle of work willhow RFID was implemented at Delta Air Lines. breathing equipment, specialized emergency equipment be repeated each time the inspection is due — visually batteries, portable oxygen bottles and emergency checking each part, no matter how new, to ensure S urprises can be commonplace for airlines and rarely are they inexpensive. There istremendous cost awareness in the industry and, because either Repairable or Expendable. Repairable components are normally managed by time in service or cycles, so they have a relatively predictable repair schedule managed defibrillator devices are all considered life limited parts. It may not be difficult to keep track of life limited parts on one aircraft, but for Delta’s fleet of more than serviceability until the next visit. Cost and timing for replacement inventory adds to the challenge. Buy too many and parts sit on the shelfso many expenses are beyond their influence, managing by an enterprise asset tracking solution. Beyond the 700 aircraft, that equates to about 140,000 life vests, unused with the calendar running: order too few andinventory to the right levels can be a key element in obvious throw-away stuff, the expendable category can over 40,000 oxygen generators and more when you add AOG (aircraft on ground) shipping expenses pile up forairlines’ profitability. Inventory is usually classified as include single use items that are life limited by the in the items mentioned above. The dynamics of aircraft overnight shipping from all over the world.
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: DELTA AIRLINES | 13 Click here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demo PSIPENTA Software for Perfection in Aerospace Mobile Processes MRO Sequencing Order Management Warehouse Management Spare Parts Management Adaptive PlanningThe target waves from a handheld reader can go through, over, Project Management Skill ManagementA few years ago, Delta Air Lines started evaluating a under and around obstacles to provide the RFID tagnew paradigm to address these business challenges. We with RF energy. This allows the tag to answer back to Data Collectionneeded something that would improve the process not the reader. If the portable reader sends out one wattby a few percentage points, but by orders of magnitude. of power to query any RFID tags in the vicinity, eachWe also wanted to minimize any business process RFID tag answers back at about one millionth of thatchanges. We wanted to be able to use data to replace power to say ‘I’m over here and here’s who I am.’ PSIpenta suite supports the planning and control of main-inventory — data is better, faster and much cheaper The reader can find hundreds of tags per secondthan inventory. Our past approach was ‘we don’t know which is pretty amazing considering that the RFID tags tenance and servicing processes. The scope of PSIpenta sui-we need it until we look’ but with data (knowledge) the have no power of their own (passive RFID) and thefuture process will be ‘we don’t have to look until we RFID chip itself is no bigger than a grain of pepper. te covers the whole MRO process ranging from slot andknow we need it’. This saves in three significant ways: Delta started pursuing this technology solution1) Avoids purchasing life limited parts before they are needed (reducing shelf-loss); in 2009, at about the same time the partnership of Aerospace Software Developments (ASD, Dublin, hangar planning to mobile processes.2) Minimizes AOG shipping expenses related to these Ireland) and Technology Solutions (Oakland, CA) items; began making RFID commercial off-the-shelf solutions Learn more about PSIPENTA and visit us in Bangkok on the Airline & Aerospace3) Avoids repeated date checks on items that are still available for airlines. They are leaders in aviation MRO & Flight Operations IT Conference at space E2. serviceable. RFID, having helped develop the ATA Spec2000 RFIDDelta was also committed to getting results quickly, no standards and demonstrated the first industry solutionairline can afford a multi-year return on investment in 2007. They also have solutions for OEM suppliers.(ROI); we are also committed to a learn-as-you-go Their software solutions are the only ones in thescenario. We knew we couldn’t figure out all the industry that have been certified by the GS1/EPCGlobalbenefits or all the costs, ahead of time but we were organization.pleasantly surprised at what we found. The initial goal for Delta is to make parts visible PSIPENTA Software Systems GmbH A fast, accurate way to collect and store data for to those who manage and replace them. With thisselected life limited parts was needed, and Delta settled visibility comes an element of predictability for Dircksenstrasse 42-44 • 10178 Berlin – Germanyon using RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology. inventory, scheduling and workflow — helping, as email@example.com • www.psipenta.comRFID technology is truly amazing — it’s like bar code discussed earlier, to avoid costly surprises and expensivetechnology that doesn’t need line of sight. The radio AOG shipping expenses.
14 | CASE STUDY: DELTA AIRLINES | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 formats and expiration schemas (i.e. first of month, last of month). The portable RFID scanners connect via Wi-Fi at hangar and line station locations. Mechanic training for the wireless handheld scanner application was easy and only took about 30 minutes on the aircraft. Training for the server side application is slightly more involved. That’s where the LOPA (LayOut of Passenger Accommodations — essentially the floor plan of the airplane) is created for each fleet configuration and populated with the desired emergency equipment. The process is assisted by a GUI (Graphic User Interface) design tool and some basic configuration menu selections — such as, Economy is 3x3 seating starting at row number 11 and continuing for 28 rows; and immediately you’ve generated a picture of the Economy section seating. Adding lavatories, galleys, closets, exit rows, extra aisles, etc. is easy. The locations are click-and-drag positioned and can be named according to the appropriate nomenclature. The layout is easily created and looks like the actual aircraft so all equipment will be located where it is expected on each aircraft. The design tool accommodates single aisle, double aisle and double decker, also allowing for custom named classes and extra sections. The server software also holds the software configuration options, reference part data and reporting functions. Once the LOPA is configured in the software, each location (seat, PSU, closet, etc.) is populated with a life vest, oxygen generator, etc. until there is a complete map (and database) of every piece of equipment for each aircraft. The process When the aircraft arrives for a visit, each item isThe solution inducted into the software, assigning each uniquelyThe first demonstration of the RFIDAeroCheck solution identified part to its specific location. Drop downto Delta management occurred over two years ago withDirectors and Managers in the First Class section of “A solution was developed for tagging these legacy parts according to the ATA Spec2000 menus or 2D barcodes are used to harvest the part number and date information. This initial inductiona Boeing 757 and more people standing in the back standard, giving each legacy part a unique number to identify it. In the future, OEMs can be done on a B757 in about 40 minutes by twoaisle. The Oxygen Generators in the PSUs had been technicians and about two hours on a B777. After thepreviously tagged with RFID tags. A brief explanation will be delivering RFID tagged parts.” induction is complete, the part information exists onof the system was provided by Dave Browne from the server and can also be checked with a 45 secondASD in the front of the First Class section, then the Delta did not wait for OEMs to begin tagging their and legacy parts will coexist seamlessly. walk down the aisle with the handheld scanner, quicklytrigger was pulled on the handheld reader and a series oxygen generators to be able to leverage the technology. The oxygen generator RFID tags designed for this confirming the presence and expiration status of anyof beeps — too quick to count — was heard from the It didn’t make business sense to wait for existing O2 particular use work extremely well, providing 15 foot tagged items — to the specific location. Any itemsreader. It had read the entire First Class section without generators to age out of the system, nor to replace all read ranges and quick read times using a portable that appear on the Exception Report, generated on thetaking a step. the generators with new ones — that would lose a RFID reader. Tags are also available for application to handheld software following the RFID scan, are visually Dave then demonstrated how easy it was to induct significant amount of useful life on those assets and life vests, life vest boxes/pouches, passenger oxygen checked for serviceability and replaced, tagged andthe individual oxygen generators into the software. would take us in the wrong direction. A solution was masks, medical kits and many other emergency inducted back into the software if required.The reader was handed to each person to enter the developed for tagging these legacy parts according to equipment items. All are available from William Frick This RFIDAeroCheck solution is a complete,necessary data just like a mechanic would at each the ATA Spec2000 standard, giving each legacy part & Company and are AS5678 certified, as required by standalone solution from data collection to automatedgenerator location. There was initial hesitation, followed a unique number to identify it. In the future, OEMs the FAA. reporting. It can even automatically email data forby an, ‘Is that all there is to it?’ response. will be delivering RFID tagged parts containing the The software chosen, RFIDAeroCheck, presents a notification of items that are approaching an expiration After a brief discussion of the potential uses for RFID actual manufacturer’s CAGE Code, Serial Number, Part small footprint, is server based and web accessible. date. The database reporting function also allowson our aircraft, we got the thumbs-up approval to Number, and Date of Manufacture. At that time, the It provides many user assignable switches to allow maintenance to plan what their life limited partproceed with the project, and we were off and running. transition will be transparent and the mix of both new configuration for a variety of terminologies, date workload will be on any given tail number, and allows
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: DELTA AIRLINES | 15 Click here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demo Your Preferred IT Solution & Business Process Out-Sourcing Partner for the futureinventory analysts to better predict both short andlonger-term inventory requirements. OEMs also benefit,minimizing last minute AOG orders and scramblingto accommodate customers. It’s a win-win foreveryone and, when appropriate, this solution can beintegrated with existing enterprise systems for inventoryplanning and scheduling of aircraft maintenance, to Hexaware is a niche, focused IT Solutions and Businessgenerate even greater ROI opportunities. Delta has Process Outsourcing Company providing end-to-endnot integrated the RFIDAeroCheck software with the Rick Lewis system integration and Technology services to its Travel andenterprise systems yet. Our approach is ‘learn first, and Business Analyst, Delta Air Linesthen grow’. Rick Lewis is a 30-year veteran of Transportation customers. With annual revenues of USD The ROI to Delta can be measured in terms of Delta Air Lines, starting his careermonths, not years. Implementation is not at all with the airline in 1982 as an 230M for FY 2010, Hexaware has a global workforce ofcomplete and we are still exploring the scope of aircraft technician. He is currently around 8300 consultants working across disparate domainequipment that should be tagged. We are also one of the Business Analysts thatinvestigating ways of performing item level security support Aircraft Maintenance and technologies. Hexaware with its strong experience inchecks using RFID solutions. And we are also working activities and is managing Delta’s various business functions in MRO and Technicalwith select vendors to include RFID tags on new RFID program. Rick holds an AMT license and apurchase inventory. This will begin the process of degree in Aviation Management. Documentation domains along with specialize services inswitching to OEM tagged inventory. Until then, we Portfolio Analysis, System Selection, Implementation,have a solution to best manage our legacy tagged,already paid for, flying inventory. INTERACTIVE Custom Development and Maintenance Services, Legacy ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTION Delta has been studying this opportunity for many CLICK HERE to leave YOUR QUESTION Modernization, Upgrade and Migration Services, Businessyears. Using aviation-specific RFID standards,inexpensive tag options, and user accepted and Intelligence / Analytics, Infrastructure Management Servicesfriendly software, we are moving forward using RFID INTERACTIVE (IMS) and Quality Assurance and Testing Services.technology to reduce our costs and explore ways to JOIN THE DEBATE www.hexaware.compositively impact our operations as industry leaders in CLICK HERE to leave your feedback about this article and start or join a discussionthis arena. n
16 | CASE STUDY: JET AIRWAYS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 Organising data for more useful outcomes Amol Salaskar. Manager Engineering IT at Jet Airways describes integrating IT systems using standard data exchange formats for technical reliability. S PEC 2000 is a set of e-Business specifications, products and services which have evolved over more than 40 years and aredesigned to address challenges in the supply chain processes of the airline maintenance, service bulletin, shop findings, piece parts, status change and summary. From suppliers it is possible to collect data on airline returned components, Boeing (factory and receiving) rejected components, and Jet Airways is a member of the ISDP, and was also sending across data. Therefore, by simplifying and automating the process of transmitting the dataindustry, incorporating the latest technological advances in information components returned for modifications . in xml standardized format for data exchange, theexchange. It aims to streamline business processes and reduce administrative Fleet data shared by airline customers is critical to Boeing’s commitment manual efforts (for both Jet Airways and Boeing) willcosts. As more trading partners embrace it, the system will become to provide cost-effective fleet support. When customers provide ongoing be reduced, and the implementation of the greaterincreasingly efficient and effective. operational information, Boeing is better equipped to make cost-effective advantage from this project would allow Jet Airways Created by the airline industry under the auspices of A4A (Airlines for safety, performance, maintenance, and modification recommendations. to perform any data analysis on the vast informationAmerica – previously ATA), SPEC 2000 is divided into four major areas of Participants in this flexible, confidential program compile data on as many as repository held by Boeing on reliability of aircraft ande-Business: Aviation Marketplace, e-Commerce Standards, File Standards, nine primary service reliability areas (as defined in SPEC 2000, Chapter 11) components. This would aim towards improving theand Bar Coding Standards. These are further developed into 17 chapters for and send it to Boeing through MyBoeingFleet.com. In addition to providing technical dispatch reliability.data exchange of which Chapter 11 deals with the collection and exchange a broad-based source of fleet data, it gives operators an opportunity to focus The opportunity to leverage technology arose withof fleet and component reliability data . attention on issues that address their individual needs . the availability of the data exchange standard, SPEC Boeing introduced the In-Service Data Program (ISDP), which created Furthermore, ISDP allows participants to view data compiled by 2000 Chapter 11, which deals with Reliability Dataa platform for airlines and suppliers to share fleet-wide reliability data. individual, participating airlines, some of which have fleets and operating Collection/Exchange specifically for airlines, andThis service allows participating airlines and Boeing to perform reliability environments comparable to their own. However, use of this data is airframe, engine and component manufacturers.analyses on fleet performance which, in turn, supports improvements restricted to improving operating performance. Several of the data subjects were included as featuresto current in-service aircraft as well as new aircraft development. The in the E&M (Engineering and Maintenance) IT systemmaintenance and reliability data exchanged through ISDP has been an The motivation at Jet Airways at Jet Airways and Boeing actively wanted to supportenabler for analyses to determine whether aircraft performance problems Jet Airways Technical Services would send fleet and component reliability with SPEC 2000, that being the standard format forare unique, assess if the mean time between failures are normal, identify the statistics to Boeing every month: Boeing would then compile and analyze data exchange. This lead to Boeing wanting to setup aNo Fault Found (NFF) rates, determine returns on modifications, develop this data received from all the operators. The airline operators would joint implementation team that would ensure that Jetcontingencies for future failures, efficiently review performance data from have to contact Boeing in order get specific information, e.g. trends or Airways is fully capable of deriving the benefits of ISDPvarious entities on a common platform, and develop benchmarks . industry performance of certain aircraft systems or components. The with the SPEC 2000 chapter 11 data exchange formats. With the introduction of the SPEC 2000 data exchange formats, it is airline operators did not have ready access to all the data from which they In the original implementation efforts Jet Airwayspossible to collect data from both airlines and suppliers. From airlines, could perform any customized analysis. In order to benefit from the vast planned to go live in 18-24 months, but with the activeit is possible to collect material on ten data subjects: hours and landings, repository of this data (from other airlines), an airline would have to enroll participation from Boeing, this project time-line is nowcomponent removals, schedule interruptions, logbooks, scheduled in the ISDP (In-Service Data Program). less than 12 months.
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: JET AIRWAYS | 17Level of Activities in the Project Mapping dataThe project plan was drafted with the aim to have all nine data SPEC 2000 Chapter 11 consists of the following ninesubjects (see below) of SPEC 2000 Chapter 11 reported by Jet data subjects:Airways to Boeing. The following key stages were considered • Hours/Landings;as working towards a successful completion of the project: • Aircraft Events;a) Identifying the project team on both sides — Boeing and Jet Airways. • Aircraft Logbook; • LRU Removals; “we requested of Volartec that theb) Mapping data from Jet Airways’ IT system (AMOS) with the • Scheduled Maintenance; implementation project should not SPEC 2000 xml data formats for Chap 11. • Service Bulletin;c) Identification of hardware and implementation setup. • Shop Findings; exceed 30 days, in order not to interfered) Evaluation of the data quality.e) Testing of the existing SPEC 2000 xml standards within • Shop Findings – Piece Parts; and • Aircraft Status Change. with our operation.” AMOS for meeting data quality requirements. The team met on-site to perform a data sanity checkf) Changing internal processes so that they would align with consisting of two parts: the standard processes. a) To know whether the data was available within Jet Airways (either in the IT system or in any otherSetting up the team format).The project team was drawn from Boeing and Jet Airways. b) If the data was available, then to develop a processOn the Boeing side there was a Business Analyst, an IT for collating and organizing it in the SPEC 2000programmer and a SPEC 2000 specialist (on standby). format required for reporting. This consists of…The Jet Airways team consisted of the Engineering/Reliability i. Data extracts that are available as a standardexpert, IT focal, and a data subject expert (as needed).The working protocol consisted of an on-site meeting to within the IT system (AMOS). ii. Data within the IT system but that need to “The opportunity to leverage technology arose with the availability of theestablish the project activities and timelines, and perform the be extracted and organized in the SPEC 2000 data exchange standard, SPEC 2000 Chapter 11, which deals with Reliabilitydata mapping. Thereafter all stakeholders were to work on format required for reporting.individual project activities and report status in the weekly iii. Data outside of the IT system in other formats, Data Collection/Exchange specifically for airlines, and airframe, engine andproject report-out teleconference. The weekly teleconferenceand the weekly status reports were released by Boeing’s e.g. MS Excel: special software processes needed to be developed to collect that data and component manufacturers.”Business Analyst. organize it in the SPEC 2000 format Click here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demo AMOS A Story of Success “We assess AMOS as a top line product which is endeared and accepted as a fine tool by our users,” states Air Asia Read more about the world-class M&E software system at SWISS-AS.COM
18 | CASE STUDY: JET AIRWAYS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 Evaluation of Data Quality References During the data mapping process, the team evaluated http://www.spec2000.org/.  Using SPEC 2000 to the quality of the data for each of the data subjects. The streamline your business. Jon Andresen – President sample file from the test (sandbox) environment (IT Technology Solutions. ATA eBusiness Program. Oct system) was setup to generate the SPEC 2000 xml files. 2008. . In-Service Data Program. John Kneuer – A sampling of some of the data points was performed Team Leader, In-Service Data Program. Boeing. Aero to check for inconsistency or whether the reported Magazine. Q1 2008. information was not in accordance with the definition of the SPEC 2000 definition. These were carefully analyzed for any repetition or duplication, and then measures were taken to correct the data and educate the users, who generated the data so that it would be correct right from the start. Procedures were designed and implemented along with Engineering Quality so that compliances were About Jet Airways faster. Also, training and write-ups were separately Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 99 issued to give step-by-step instructions on how the aircraft, which include 10 Boeing 777-300 ER information was to be input in the IT system. aircraft, 11 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 2 Airbus A330-300 aircraft 59 next generation Boeing Peculiar Data Challenges 737-700/800/900 aircraft, 16 ATR 72-500 and 1 Due to a long legacy of using the IT system (AMOS), ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. With an average there were a few data gaps in the information captured. fleet age of 5.66 years, the airline has one of the These were addressed by the following methods: youngest aircraft fleets in the world. Flights to 73 a) For inconsistencies, it was decided to make certain destinations span the length and breadth of India, “The primary advantage derived from implementation of the ISDP requirements data fields mandatory so that errors are eliminated at and beyond to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and using SPEC 2000 Chapter 11 data standards was that Jet Airways would now have source. b) Education of the users, and preparing work- North America. access to the vast repository of reliability information available within Boeing.” procedures for user reference. c) Issuing quality circulars that allowed us to enforce certain discipline in the way information is captured. Amol SalaskarBased on this assessment there were several actions system could be directly transmitted to the Boeing The bigger challenge arose when the process did not Manager Engineering IT, Jet Airwaysinitiated. The project plan was developed into three system; fully adhere to the requirements of the IT system, Amol Salaskar has been a managerspecific stages. b) A few data subjects required data cleansing before which in-turn influenced the quality of data produced Engineering IT with Jet Airways Stage 1 was to implement the SPEC 2000 data they could be transmitted to Boeing; by the xml file. This was addressed as follows: for over seven years. In this role,subjects that were already available from the IT System c) A few data subjects were not a standard part of the d) For data stored in the IT system but not part of he manages the administration(AMOS). IT system, hence suitable data extracts routines were the standard SPEC 2000 out-puts, separate software and integration of solutions Stage 2 consisted of developing the data extracts that created that would then be organized in SPEC 2000 routines were developed so that AMOS data could (technology and process) intowould support towards developing the xml outputs xml format before transmitting to Boeing. be extracted and produced into the required xml the business areas of Engineeringthat are not available. This would be done using an Since b) and c) were concerns to be addressed, the formats. and Maintenance. Prior to that he workedexternally developed IT tool; in this case, MS Access. team decided to have a custom developed system as a e) For at least one data subject, the IT system was not as a Business Analyst for Fleet Management Stage 3 was to augment use of the IT System (AMOS), staging application system. The Jet Airways IT system being fully used for managing the entire business Operations, with General Electric where heby converting the present manual processes into an would send the data to a staging system using FTP process. Hence, software routines were developed certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt.electronic process. It was further proposed to utilize (File Transfer Protocol); the staging system would then (application) so that the data could be drawn from He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanicalthe SPEC 2000 interface capability available in the IT process the data into the required format before it alternate systems (e.g. MS Excel files) and joined Engineering, a Master of Science in Industrial andsystem. could be transferred using FTPS (File Transfer Protocol with data from the IT system, to prepare the Systems Engineering from Auburn University, Secure) to the Boeing data upload service. The staging required data format. USA, and followed by a diploma in ManagementIdentification of hardware system was decided based on the data load and the Studies.and software processing requirements. AdvantagesIn order to map the data the SPEC 2000 schemas It was agreed that the Jet Airways IT system (AMOS) The primary advantage derived from implementationwere procured from A4A. Due to various versions of would send data to the staging application (within Jet of the ISDP requirements using SPEC 2000 Chapter 11 INTERACTIVE ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTIONthe schema being available, there was a need to agree Airways domain), that would process the information data standards was that Jet Airways would now have CLICK HERE to leave YOUR QUESTIONon the SPEC 2000 version that would be used in the and perform a data sanity check. Once the files were access to the vast repository of reliability informationimplementation, and one that it is compatible with the scrutinized the data would be prepared in the SPEC available within Boeing. Also, certain processes were re-IT systems at both Jet Airways and Boeing. 2000 xml format, and transmitted to Boeing’s data designed and re-implemented; hence business processes INTERACTIVE During the data mapping process there were three upload service. At the check-points there were people now conformed with global standards. And, pre- JOIN THE DEBATEobservations: identified who would receive email alerts in-case there existing manual business processes would get converted CLICK HERE to leave your feedback about this article and start or join a discussiona) Some of the data subjects produced from the IT was a failure with the process of data transmission. into electronic form. n
How I see ITACG v Olympic Airlines – is the definition The recent ACG v Olympic established some importa “Whether a particular defe Airlines civil lawsuit in the nt precedence. ct renders an aircraft un UK reviewed the definition which was in debate and the part in question and fit or unsafe for flight wiof ‘airworthy’ changing? Michael Denis the severity of the defect. ll depend upon the functio knows of the defect or no It will not depend upon n of t. An aircraft with a defe whether the operator of the flight is not rendered fit ctive part which renders aircraft or safe for flight on acco the aircraft unfit or unsa defect. Airworthiness depe unt of the operator of the fe for nds upon the condition of aircraft being unaware of upon whether or not a de the aircraft at the material the fect is known to the opera time. It does not depend of commercial aircraft int tor. I do not consider tha ended for the carriage of t any prudent lessor or les the aircraft carried a hid passengers would regard see den defect which, if the an aircraft as airworthy if corrected before the next lessor and lessee had kn flight.” own about it, would have to be I conducted a survey on several industry blog sites an aircraft was compliant and the common definiti to its type certificate, supp on given was, ‘airworthy [was] safe to operate.’ lemental type certificates meant and airworthiness directi ves AND While the first is easily pro ved or disproved by accu the second requirement, rate and precise docume ‘safe to operate’, is a bit ntation and physical inspe determination of airworth more difficult. The ‘safe ctions, y is enabled via a Continu to operate’ element of the flight inspection by a pil ous Airworthiness Mainten ot. The judge found “a po ance Program (CAMP) an or standard of inspection d pre- What is the definiti on of airworthy? The civil lawsuit also foun by AirAsia…” d deficient maintenance It seems like a silly question to Aerospace. Air Asia was in governance practices by Air Asia and on their beha aviation trade the process of redelivering lf by ST be discussing in an pressure to complete the a large number of aircraf t and “ST Aerospace were 1C check with as little de magazine since it should be universal ‘pencil-whipping’, that is, signing off on a job even lay as possible”. “Referenc e was made, i) to the pra under and fundamental, but it’s amazing In the end, ACG prevailed though it was not carried out…” ctice of the number of answers you get aircraft, when Olympic sig on the technicality of esto ppels – that regardless of depending upon who you ask. My ned the certificate of ac the airworthiness of the ceptance; it gave up its rig favorite is, ‘Airworthiness is like what So what does this have to do with an eJournal on hts to sue. MRO technology? the Supreme Court once said about Standardized electronic records and the paperless pornography – we can’t define it but not because it makes lab aviation ecosystem is here and is going to accelerate n we see it.’ or more productive, not we know it whe improves regulatory comp because it decreases exce ss inventory, and not be , liance – we are going to cause it cost of paper and non-sta change because lawyers, ndardization. insurers and CFOs are see INTERACTIVE: Get Involved! ing the At least that’s how I see Why not get involved with the debate? Send your comments or questions to Michael by clicking here. IT.
20 | WHITE PAPER: ADS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 W hy do we talk about technical records scanning? Anybody can scan paperwork today because everybody has a big photocopier that can print, fax, copy, scan… in fact, everything but make the coffee! However, all too often the user, whether MRO or airline, ends up with a lot of PDF files holding black and white images. Even with rigorous naming of and architecture for file storage, it will often take as long to dig into PDF files as into paperwork, in which case it might be quicker to refer back to the paper work in the first place. Introducing the expense of an OCR (optical character recognition) engine such as ADOBE ACROBAT Pro, will at least assist in using the windows search engine, if enabled on your computer, or the search engine from ACROBAT, but only on clearly printed characters. Using ACROBAT INDEX/SEARCH engine will make it possible to have all files combined into one, thus, say, having a 20Gb PDF file for one year of records on an A320. Some MRO software allows users to link individual PDF or TIF files to task cards or a parts history. However, this can be time consuming, most often the time of engineers whose job should be more about monitoring maintenance operations than scanning and linking files to corresponding electronic records in the MRO system. This is still prevalent in many airlines and sometimes when, in these times of cost reduction, the cost of sitting an engineer behind a scanner becomes prohibitive, the linking of scanned records behind electronic records is simply abandoned. So, when a lease ends and the time for repossession arrives, large numbers of engineers have to revert to the records and make copies of certain documents to suit the lessor’s redelivery conditions. Added to which, most lessors have their own way of requiring the records. These days, we hear increasingly about eSignatures for maintenance operations and electronic record keeping. Without doubt, this is the future but there are still some issues. Firstly, aircraft compliantTechnical records – making them work with full eMaintenance, such as the A350 or B787, are new and currently represent less than 1% of the global fleet: against that, many aircraft between five to 40 years old remain in service. These old birds still have their delivery documents and maintenance records only in paper format or sometimes even on microfilms. Secondly, asJulien Albrecht, General Manager, Aircraft Data Systems considers how to transform paper into useful information? no global standards have yet been established and accepted for aircraft electronic records, local aviation authorities will not certify an aircraft with only scanned copies of records. Some airlines“…aircraft compliant with full eMaintenance, such as the A350 or B787, are new and currently represent less than 1% of the global simply do not look at aircraft that don’t have full paperwork traceability. fleet: against that, many aircraft between five to 40 years old remain in service.” Aircraft Maintenance Records, it seems, will still be around for at least another 30 years.
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | WHITE PAPER: ADS | 21 Click here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demo Digital Aircraft Technical Records FROM THIS…High speed, high definitioncolor scanningIn recent years, professional scanners have becomemuch more accessible. Production scanners like theCANON DR-6040C are capable of scanning, in oneday, a full year of records for a B747, including Line …TO THIS.Maintenance, Work Orders, Jaa/FAA ‘form ones’, page from a phone book in 100dpi and black andBase maintenance, Cabin log book, Maintenance log white; you would never manage to phone your dentistbooks… This particular scanner has an ultrasonic and your wife might never get her favorite flowers:double feed sensor and can scan from Business card or, in our context, you would not be able to findup to A3 with full duplex (one pass) capability. It traceability for a Life Limited Part (LLP) changed fivecan be transported in a standard armored case, can years ago on a line maintenance operation.easily fit on a desk and, best of all, this wonder can be The other great advantage of high resolution scanningpurchased for less than 4000€. is that the results of OCR engines are improved by The value of scanning in color is most apparent when 25% for scanned pages in 240dpi and at least 30%it is necessary to demonstrate that you have scanned for 300dpi: and there are ways to further improvean original document. It helps to show blue JAR/FAR the results from text recognition. Every OCR engine(Joint Airworthiness Regulations / Federal Aviation has good and bad points; but something they shareRegulation) mechanic stamps or a ‘CERTIFIED COPY’ in common is to provide a recognition trust rate. Forstamp in blue or red. Also, when there are only carbon our purposes, we have selected seven OCR engines,copies of Log Books available from which to make Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI),searches, scanning in black and white or in ‘Grayscale’ ACROBAT PRO, TESSERACT, KOFAX VRS, ABBYYlevels will result in an almost unreadable copy: FINE READER, READIRIS. If the first OCR run giveswhereas, scanning in color will allow for adjustment a trust rate below 90%, then the page is run throughof contrast or even suppression of background color the next one until the rate gets to our minimumto make readability as good as or better than from theoriginal page. requirements of 90%. We have also developed a seventh OCR engine in Talk to the experts… The high definition of scanned images is also very house to meet aviation requirements. Every OCRuseful when reading on-screen paperwork with smallfonts such as AMM (Aircraft Maintenance Manual) or engine uses a dictionary to make comparisons and for generating the trust rate. The aviation industry, like Aircraft Data SystemsMPD (Maintenance Planning Document) pages. We every business, has its own vocabulary and lexicon ofrecommend to scan in color and at 300dpi (dots per abbreviations, acronyms and other expressions. The Tel: +33 (0) 466 230 316, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) definition for Non-Routine task Cards (NRC) seventh engine is tailored to check scanned recordsand logbooks and in color and 240dpi for all other against an aviation related dictionary to increase the Visit: www.adsfrance.netdocuments. Just imagine if you had to read a scanned recognition rate up to 95%. ADS HP 0213.indd 1 28/01/2013 14:05
22 | WHITE PAPER: ADS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 Indexing is the key Even after having recognized the printed content of the pages there is still a good chance that users will miss the records they are looking for. Since 2005, we have found that 95% of searches are related to non- routine information which is handwritten in most cases and hand written information still cannot be properly read with software: that is one of the reasons why it is called ‘Dirty Finger Prints’ (DFP). But what this means is that 95% of searches will concentrate around the 5% of information that is not recognized even with seven OCR engines… and there is still a chance that the OCR will have messed-up in recognizing the part and serial numbers. To finally achieve a 99% search capability rate, every single page needs to be presented to operators for a quality check and eventual correction. This also allows operators to input handwritten information into indexes so that the final user can search even on ‘dirty finger prints’. In most cases, users should find a cartouche on every page that indicates information about the detailed maintenance operation. We have added what we called Optical Zonal Recognition or OZR which allows users to define layouts of task cards for specific MROs or Airlines and apply a layout reading capability, indicating which area should be stored in which index. Like, but not limited to, Registration, MPD (maintenance planning document) task reference, Work Pack reference, related parts, AD / SB (airworthiness directive / service bulletin), Modifications EO (engineering order). This allows all the records to be Even so, the OCR software can still confuse a ‘0’ (nought/zero) and an ‘O’ (capital letter ‘O’), scanned by work packs with only one reference – PO (purchase order) an ‘l’ (lower case letter ‘l’) and a ‘1’ (number one) or ‘S’ (capital letter ‘S’) and ‘5’ (number or WO (work order) reference. The software does the rest. All indexing is five)… For common words this is corrected using the standard dictionaries but, for part and done virtually and, as the records are the responsibility of the operators, serial numbers it can quickly become such a huge headache that engineers will give up on nobody should alter their content. Once the work packs have been scanning and using scanned copies and revert to paperwork. scanned, they can be stored to a remote safe location exactly as they were These days, the cost of computer storage is so cheap, except for Cloud based systems, that produced by the operator or the MRO. It becomes pointless to revert to the it would be easy to dramatically reduce document quality in order to save a relatively small paperwork again. amount of money. But, reducing the quality of scanning reduces the value of scanning. And Thus, instead of having many files with names such as task 001, task talking about Cloud based applications; how would a user, with no or limited Internet access, 002, task 003 we set out to present information linked to as much related connect to the Cloud to consult scanned technical records while working in the field? We use information as possible. USB sticks to fill that gap with software designed to run on any platform (except IOS Mac). Documents have to be presented as what they are, with indexes and title related to the maintenance operation. Who cares about the file number or its location? But who does not care about having access to all airworthiness directives and service bulletins related to a specific landing gear? Indexing could be achieved by putting printed barcodes on A4 pages in front of specific sets of paperwork or by scanning them into specifically named files, but this would be more time consuming and would ultimately represent a prohibitive increase in the cost of the solution. “Indexing could be achieved by putting printed barcodes on A4 pages in front of specific sets of paperwork or by scanning them into specifically named files, but this would be more time consuming and would ultimately represent a prohibitive increase in the cost of the solution.”
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | WHITE PAPER: ADS | 23 Having in-depth indexing capability helps to createstatuses: these statuses are not the actual statuses of theaircraft but from the technical records filing system. Itthen becomes easy to cross check the statuses coming ABOUTout from the MRO IT software and the digital records Aircraftsystem, thus dramatically reducing the time to identify Dataand fix discrepancies between the two reference systemsand/or the paperwork. Systems (ADS)System integration, ADS is a specialist in moving aircraft maintenanceMRO System linking records and associated documentation from paperThese indexes, stored in an open relational database can to digital format, creating single records fromhelp build bridges between MRO systems and scanned multiple formats (electronic and paper). It hastechnical records. Storing the indexes directly into the created a scanning methodology to ensure thefiles can mean having to open every file to look for a highest degree of accuracy in records scannedspecific page. Storing the indexes into a database will from even hand written ‘dirty finger print’house the result of your searches and the software will originals. The firm will also create and maintain aonly load the page that you require when you have database from which data can be extracted in adisplayed the correct indexes. variety of formats to suit different requirements; particularly those of the airline, the regulatoryWhether or not to outsource regime under which it operates and the aircrafttechnical records scanning lessor – useful at repossession time.and management The service can be tailored to suit customerThe first step has to be to compare the cost of an requirements; either the customer can scan inengineer offering material to a scanner against a low the information from the paper records or ADScost external company undertaking that task. As we will undertake the whole record scanning andhave seen above, engineers have other jobs to do and specialized company. As the records were property of the 10 ways of storing records to meet the requirements maintenance task as an outsource operation.might be quite a costly resource to use to scan and the lessor, under the responsibility of the bankrupted of lessors might meet the airline’s own requirements. ADS have now scanned more than 2.5 billionmaintain records. But it’s also useful to consider the airline, it proved easy to get this aircraft back into the That’s why having good sets of indexes associated to pages for more than 650 aircraft.time needed by the MRO, the operator, engineers and sky in no time. a customizable architecture is very useful, associatingthe lessor to reconstitute sets of records at repossession an aircraft to its lessor and then creating a redeliverytime – this can also represent using a costly engineer Meet the lessor requirements layout to that lessor’s standards. Records can then Julien Albrechtresource for a task which is not really in the job Every lessor has its own requirements for redelivery of be scanned to meet the airline’s requirements. The General Manager, Aircraft Data Systemsdescription. aircraft technical records. The information is exactly indexing and virtual sorting of records will help to Graduate IT engineer. After his A study, published in 2004 by EASA, gives a cost the same but presented in the lessor’s preferred fashion. present the records whether in the airline’s fashion or degree and his military periodof 19 euro per page for the storage of technical At airline level, a user can institute a way of presenting in the lessor’s redelivery fashion. This removes the need in the French Air Force, he wasrecords so it might be useful for Airlines to consider scanned technical records, but if the airline operates to dig into boxes of paper files to create a set of DFP engaged by Alain Perroteau to beusing a low cost certified storage company to handle 80 aircraft from 10 lessors, then it would have to for AD statuses. The records generated by the scanning the Network Manager and teamtechnical records. Also, fire is a real risk in light of implement and maintain 10 ways of scanning, storing software will meet the requirements of whoever uses leader in project management forthe destruction of hangars in Athens or in Brussels. and indexing records. Most of the time, if scanned them. Daily scanning enables a day-by-day update LOGITAIR integration processes.Most importantly, the aviation business is about flying records do not meet the requirements of the lessor of the record keeping system, helps to identify LOGITAIR, was specialzed in airlines revenueaircraft, not document storage. It would always be then the scanned records may be rejected, which puts discrepancies as they arise and saves significant time accounting and financial back office processing.better to give the responsibility to someone specialized paperwork back on the table. And, of course, none of come repossession. n As he has been in aviation since he was twoin that business. The same study from EASA gives a years old pushed by his father François, also wellcost of 3 euros for a scanned, indexed and remotely known in aviation industry, he confounded ADSstored page. Outsourcing also allows trained personalto handle corrections of the OCR engine and retyping Digitally signing of scanned records with his father and Alain Perroteau. He is now the general manger of ADS.of dirty finger prints, freeing engineers to do what they Some aviation authorities recognize scanned records as originals only if they are digitally signed at theare hired for, engineering. time of digitizing. This, at a cost of approximately 0.04€ per page, can lead to the right to destroy 80% of A final advantage is that, in case of bankruptcy, the the paper records held. That said, it would still be sensible to keep as much as possible of the paper like INTERACTIVE ASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTIONrecords are not held on retention. We had a case when SIGNED TALLY SHEETS, Certificates, NRC, work orders, engineering orders etc. as an aircraft will pass from CLICK HERE to leave YOUR QUESTIONan airline went into bankruptcy in 2010. The lessor one operator to another every five years on average and the next operator may not be under an authoritymanaged to get the aircraft out of the airline, but an that recognizes the digitally signed documents or digitized documents.aircraft without its documentation means nothing. The signature has to be given by an outside company as the owner of the scanned copies cannot be INTERACTIVEFortunately for this lessor, there was a complete set judge and advocate. Verysign has already acquired knowledge about the specifics or our aviation world JOIN THE DEBATEof scanned records to help put the aircraft on the and is recognized in many but not all European and North American aviation authorities. CLICK HERE to leave your feedback about this article and start or join a discussionmarket because the airline was storing the records in a
26 | CASE STUDY: AIR WORKS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 “Today we are standing at a crossroad wherein, on the one hand there is a serious threat to legacy but also, on the other hand, a tremendous opportunity to create a simple, beautiful (and low cost) but practical IT which can be a potent business differentiator and confer huge competitive advantage.” I T is a wonderful thing: I mean… none of us would be doing the jobs we do in quite the way we do them if it wasn’t for IT. In fact, a lot of what makes the modern world go round and, importantly for us, helps airlines to fly around and over it can be credited to IT with its power to marshal information and help get things done. But, like any strong force, IT can be a power for good or for bad and needs to be handled carefully, not only to leverage the best value from its capabilities but also because, like any power, mishandled it can bite. That’s a lot of responsibility for those involved. So, it matters what goes on inside the head of a Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Architect, Enterprise Architect or anyone who is trying to take IT strategy decisions in today’s world of volatility (business and political) and technology disruption (especially with the two ‘Cs’ – Consumerisation and Cloud – getting into the enterprise zone). What should a CIO think about? Today we are standing at a crossroad wherein, on the one hand there is a serious threat to legacy but also, on the other hand, a tremendous opportunity to create a simple, beautiful (and low cost) but practical IT which can be a potent business differentiator and confer huge competitive advantage. It’s all down to managing information, as Bill Gates put it: “Virtually everything Ravinder Pal Singh, Global Chief Information and Technology Officer at Air Works, identifies the IT dilemmas in business today is an undifferentiated commodity, except how a company manages its information. How and opportunities that faces airlines today and suggests how a business might use them you manage information determines whether you win or lose.”