Aviation Today tells us that EasyJet is establishing about 50 different predictive maintenance algorithms for its fleet by the end of 2018.
“…EasyJet is learning to use the Airbus SkyWise platform to improve its aircraft maintenance workflow.”
Specifically, this new process allows EasyJet to “…look at the fault, determine the cause, and then write an algorithm to detect it on all flights moving forward.”
This approach is a perfect example of one of the “economical approaches to complex system sustainment” which tells us to look first at what data is available to us “free”, that is generated already by operations, maintenance, supply, or some other system process. And then use that data as best we can to predict when there will be risks to a readiness factor associated with the system’s mission. In this case, the readiness factor would be reliability of the aircraft in flight, or availability of the aircraft for use. We then take action to mitigate that risk before it is realized.
Aviation Today mentions two key technologies: the onboard flight operations and maintenance exchanger (FOMAX) and the off-board Skywise data analytics tool.
A cost trade study (as simple or complex as the case requires) needs to be completed to make sure this kind of investment pays off. In this case, EasyJet got a little extra boost from Airbus creating a lot of the infrastructure of this assessment tool for their customers.
Where in your complex system can you look for “free” data? Have any of your contractors, vendors, or suppliers come up with tools since the last time you looked? Will the additional data same you resources by improving maintenance, delaying replacements, or evaluating new sources? Is your configuration management process robust enough to make this approach do-able?