The strong economy boosts passengers and travel for airlines worldwide, which has led airlines to invest in new aircraft while also maintaining the legacy aircraft to increase the number of passengers traveling.
The third-party maintenance repair or overhaul (MRO) companies reap the benefits of delayed retirements of their older aircraft while ensuring income streams by providing specific fields of specialization. But, the plane that is scheduled to arrive in the next decade are constructed from modern materials, have new technology, and provide extensive information about their overall health. All of these help OEMs (OEMs) as well as owners/operators. This means fewer maintenance funds will be available to niche, regional MROs from third parties that may eventually be out of business.
According to the research Oliver Wyman’s “MRO Survey 2019: Stronger, Bigger Faster,” third-party MROs consider the most significant disruption in the market as “growth of OEM following market presence.” The report also shows a general lack of confidence within the MRO industry. When the MRO industry was asked regarding its reaction to a downturn in the economy and its response, it viewed the situation as an opportunity to cut costs, introduce measures to improve efficiency in operations, or cut back on innovation. Why do firms only make decisions in the event of a negative impact?
This is the reason why third-party MROs aren’t adapting, and if they don’t change now – shortly, be gone. The economic downturn means less work, but there’s a lack of skilled workers in the field, and MROs must be mindful not to be overreactive when they reduce the number of employees. Instead, companies need to look at ways to MRO, compete in the present, and plan for the future.
Tip 1: Change the business model of MRO
OEMs have taken over aftermarket businesses. It takes place over time. A decade of careful consolidation has led to the regaining of a substantial portion of supply chains. OEMs see a chance in the MRO area to create new business models that let them control the entire supply chain from manufacturing to providing service. This higher degree of service leaves third-party MROs at a significant disadvantage.
Data control can provide the possibility of leveraging advanced maintenance techniques. Big Data, predictive analytics, and machine learning offer insights into the health of aircraft as well as improve maintenance planning, and help create platforms for the industry. The advantages in technology are for OEMs that, unlike MROs, can make substantial investments to help support their business models.
The good news is that MROs have a wealth of information that they can use to work with OEMs changing business models. Controlling the flow of data, normalizing it, generating value through this data, and linking it with industry-specific platforms will grant MROs an opportunity to sit on the dining table.
Tips 2: Make an Electronic Record
With the introduction of new aircraft into the market and older aircraft that are still in production, monitoring across the lifecycle of aircraft is crucial to ensure that the aircraft continue to operate efficiently and without any downtime. Internet of Things (IoT) data, predictive analytics, and simulations are all valuable for engineers and manufacturers, however, only when used in the context of. The creation and maintenance of a digital record of all product configurations while being manufactured, maintained, and upgraded allows MROs to preserve assets in the field and keep digital twins synchronized.
This first digital twin is built during the manufacturing process of as-built recording the product’s configuration with special features or choices made and recording serial numbers. The digital twin is updated by the users when a significant alteration occurs to the asset. For instance, if the electronic motor serial number #001 changes by electric motor serial number #002, the equivalent modification is applied to the twin.
Utilizing this twin configuration, simulation models can be developed that are tailored to the specific characteristics of a particular asset and paired with IoT data gathered from the support to identify potential failures.
Tips 3: Accept Flexibility in Processes
The current third-party MROs use various, unconnected systems. In addition, because of insufficient capabilities or workflows that integrate with their existing systems, they could have hundreds of spreadsheets for personal purposes. Companies preparing with investment in technical and financial aspects in platform-based, reliable MRO solutions that can leverage information and interoperability between systems are ready to compete in the new world.
Third-party MROs need to be more efficient with an open, modern, flexible, scalable, and easily upgradeable system that integrates manufacturing and engineering and expands MRO capabilities to cut costs while utilizing resources efficiently. In addition, it will boost the volume of maintenance tasks they can handle.
MRO solutions should handle the lifecycle of multi-disciplinary, complex manufacturing and maintenance requirements for airframe, line, components, and engine support.The benefits include:
- Greater visibility of job status from beginning to end
- Reduction in operating costs, improvement in accuracy of inventory, work order profits
- Accountability, transparency, and compliance in regulatory reporting
- The ability to adjust resources can enhance scheduled maintenance, reducing the time to complete maintenance.
- Processes that are streamlined between organizations, departments cut cost
Tip 4 Rethink the Technology
Mix MRO abilities with a durable platform for industrial applications that will ensure the viability of your solution. An all-encompassing platform enables companies to combine manufacturing, engineering, and maintenance techniques. In addition, giving users access to crucial information helps create an environment that encourages continuous innovation and cooperation.
A flexible platform can connect various information sources, adapted according to business needs or regulatory evolve. These platforms are connected to a range of systems and tools. They also enable innovative technologies, such as IoT, predictive analytics, and obsolete retirement technologies to take advantage of new developments. Furthermore, a flexible platform can be used to track and automate modifications while ensuring the asset’s settings are up-to-date.
Ensuring that the right people are employed and utilizing platform capabilities to integrate manufacturing and engineering disciplines allows MROs to grow their business. In addition, integrating disparate systems and the alignment of business processes opens up new opportunities to earn revenue and remain ahead of the competition.
Opportunities await third-party MROs who can profit from their processes, data, and insights. Platforms with robust MRO capabilities that permit complete virtual twins are vital to maintaining engines, components, and airframes on the next generation of aircraft. In addition, platforms allow organizations to grow as the industry changes while maintaining different business models and facilitating contracts between OEMs, other third parties, and the owners of fleets of aircraft.