More and more operations are seeing the benefit of meshing their MRO software with their flight operations IT solutions. Together, the two offer more synergy than perhaps any other pairing to ensure safety, efficiency and profitability. We will take a look at how these two seemingly disparate products can work together to create amazing synergy.
Sabena Engineering has selected CrossConsense as its main supplier to provide AMOS Support, AMOS Hosting and the migration of existing data into a new system. The aim of this new collaboration is to migrate the existing AMOS environment from Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International (LTMI) which Sabena acquired in December 2021, to a newly hosted environment.
“I am proud of our team at CrossConsense. Our consultants perform data migration projects including database splits or mergers,” said Axel Christ, managing director of CrossConsense. “Our AMOS supporters help our customers’ users if they get stuck. And our data engineers take care of all kinds of interfacing or reporting tasks. The whole team has years of aviation experience. Throughout the pandemic, we kept our team stable, and our customers well cared for. This demonstrates the value of a dedicated, professional AMOS support service. In the same way that we are recognized AMOS experts, Sabena is an experienced and well-renowned MRO provider. We are very proud of adding them to the diverse list of our customers.”
Nicolas Bertrand, AMOS project manager of Sabena Engineering said, “We selected CrossConsense because they were the only partner capable to cope with the scope of our demand, combining a wide range of services and expertise to support the initial migration, the setup of our new system and the associated hosting services. Thanks to the CrossConsense consultants and support team, we are on the way to make our AMOS instance the core system of our MRO organization.”
Czechia-based airline Smartwings Group has selected the Conduce eTechLog8 solution for deployment across the fleet. The selection of Conduce was taken after fully evaluating the ELB market over a period of time. The evaluation process was both lengthy and detailed, including at one stage considering the option to develop an application internally.
Ultimately the selection of Conduce as its ELB provider was made for several reasons. These included the fact that Conduce had a wide variety of airlines, including scheduled, cargo, ACMI and specialist operators, giving Smartwings the confidence that the application could handle all the operations conducted across the Smartwings Group.
Petr Hutla, director of technical procurement stated that, “By selecting Conduce to provide our ELB solution we know that we have selected an extremely competent partner to join us on the digitalization journey. During our evaluation and selection process we saw Conduce grow and further develop its solutions as more and more airlines subscribed to the service. We are convinced that Smartwings will benefit greatly from the adoption of eTechLog8.”
eTechLog8 is part of a mission critical suite of applications and will provide flight crew, cabin crew and engineers alike with an intuitive, user-friendly electronic solution for the completion of flight logs, defect findings and actions, servicing and acceptance into service. Automatic data transmission from the tail-assigned cockpit devices will give MCC / MOC real-time aircraft technical status. Also included is full integration with the fleet MELs along with interactive LOPA charts for cabin defect reporting. This will allow for greater efficiency during both the aircraft turnaround phase alongside the enablement of proactive planning for maintenance tasks across the fleet.
The project will also involve full integration with several of Smartwings’ existing solutions, including ACARS, CAMO/MRO systems and flight scheduling software.
Veryon recently announced its acquisition of Rusada, a prominent player in the aviation maintenance management software industry since 1987. This strategic move solidifies Veryon’s commitment to innovation while strengthening its position as a trusted aviation management software market leader.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rusada to the Veryon family,” said Norman Happ, chief executive officer for Veryon. “Rusada’s track record of innovation and service in aviation maintenance management software is an ideal complement to our existing portfolio of industry-leading solutions. The combined power of our teams, the expanded range of products, and our robust customer base will enable Veryon to serve aviation operators of all sizes around the world.”
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Rusada has a presence across the globe with employees in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, India, Singapore and Australia. Rusada’s software is used by nearly 100 customers that operate over 2,000 aircraft collectively.
“This acquisition allows us to become part of the leading aviation platform and diversify and expand our market presence across the industry,” said Julian Stourton, chief executive officer for Rusada. “In aligning ourselves strategically with the resources, technology, and superior customer experience that Veryon offers, we are confident that together is a way for our team to continue to be a part of serving as a leading-edge provider of aviation software.”
With the completion of this acquisition, Veryon gains access to Rusada’s extensive expertise, advanced technology, and global customer base from every corner of the industry, including commercial, charter, business, military, and government operations. Rusada’s ENVISION is a single hub for managing airworthiness, maintenance and flight operations.
These combined companies will provide aircraft operators with features that include asset management, maintenance planning, supply chain optimization, compliance monitoring, and data analytics.
Veryon and Rusada say their customers can continue to expect uninterrupted 24/7/365 support and ongoing product enhancements. The acquisition will allow both companies the ability to offer a wider selection of solutions.
When it comes to managing MRO operations in an integrated manner, there are two types of solutions that are commonly used. The first is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that has been designed for use in a wide range of businesses, with the ability to be customized to some extent for each of them. The second is MRO IT enterprise management (MRO IT) system software that has been purpose-built to serve the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul industry.
What ERPs Can Do for MROs
ERP systems are used by industries such as manufacturing to integrate business functions such as finance, human resources, inventory management, and production planning into end-to-end unified platforms. This makes it possible for all aspects of the business to be seen and managed using a common shared system. Such integration makes it easier for managers to stay on top of what’s going on, and to spot and remedy problems quickly when they occur. Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft are among the big names in the ERP market.
One potential advantage of using standard ERP systems and customizing them for use in the MRO sector is cost. Since ERP systems are widely used across lots of different industries, they often come with a lower price tag compared to MRO-specific solutions. This is because ERP vendors sell in higher volumes than MRO IT systems vendors due to their sales into many markets. This higher volume allows ERP vendors to lower their per-unit cost.
A second advantage of using ERP systems is training costs, but only if employees in the MRO are familiar with using ERP systems from other industries.
As well, ERP systems can be modular in their design, allowing customers to only buy those components that are relevant to their businesses. Meanwhile, basic business practices like accounting, inventory, customer databases, and sales are common to every industry, and can easily be adapted in a standard ERP system. In fact, some ERP modules may not need any customization at all.
A further advantage associated with ERP systems is the ability to enable improved integration across different departments within an organization. Once an ERP system is in place, information flows seamlessly between departments. This enables better coordination and decision-making throughout the organization.
As to whether ERP systems can be sufficiently customized to work well in the MRO sector? That depends on the specific ERP system, said Saravanan Rajarajan Saran, Ramco Systems’ director of solution consulting. “Effective usage of the ERP in core maintenance operations depends on how flexibly the ERP can be configured to unique maintenance requirements, both in terms of usability and functionality,” he explained. “For example, an airline wants to see an aircraft’s manufacturer serial number rather than having it recorded in the ERP as a generic asset number.”
What Makes MRO IT Systems Stand Out
The big difference between ERP systems and MRO IT systems is that the latter have been designed with MRO requirements and functionality in mind. As such, these platforms are tailored to the specific needs of the MRO industry, their clients and suppliers. This means that major program customization is unnecessary, which is not the case with standard ERP system software.
One such MRO IT system is made by Ramco. “The Ramco Aviation Solution is a fully web-centric application developed from the ground up specifically for the aviation industry,” said Saran. This system offers an integrated platform for airlines, defense clients, helicopter operators and MROs to centrally manage functions such as maintenance and engineering, supply chain, safety, compliance, quality, planning and financial control, among others.
“ERP software is generally built to be ‘industry agnostic’,” said Saran. “It can be configured for the given deployment based on specific industry needs, to a certain degree. In contrast, MRO-specific IT systems are built to address the specific industry, segment or function within the aviation industry. ERP systems normally encompass most of the functional modules required for an organization — for example, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain, Maintenance, and Engineering — whereas MRO-specific IT systems may need to interface with additional systems to support a company’s complete organizational needs.”
Swiss AviationSoftware (Swiss-AS) is another maker/vendor of MRO IT system software. Its AMOS system “has been on the market now for more than 30 years,” said Chris Clements, senior sales representative with Swiss AviationSoftware. “This solution has established itself as one of the go-to solutions when new businesses are looking to upgrade their current solution or indeed start-ups who are looking for best of breed from Day One. Within a single solution, MRO activities can be managed from first contact, quotation, execution and ultimately billing.”
Like many ERP systems, AMOS is modular. This means that different components can be fitted together to customize the solution as needed.
AMOS starts with a “core solution,” Clements explained. “Then you can add various optional modules such as AMOSmobile/EXEC, the mobile solution for maintenance technicians; AMOSmobile/STORES, which allows stores keepers to work away from the stores counter; and most recently AMOSeTL, which brings AMOS on board the aircraft and puts it directly in the hands of pilots, cabin crew and technicians.
Because they are not cookie-cutter solutions, MRO IT systems tend to cost more than ERPs and can take longer to implement. But that’s the price for adopting an enterprise management system tailored specifically to the MRO industry’s needs, and the benefit. “AMOS’ strength as an MRO-specific software solution lies first and foremost in its integration capabilities, both internal and external,” said Clements. “The totally integrated processes that AMOS provides ensures that the flow of data is seamless, supporting the customer’s processes whilst ensuring consistency and real-time updates.”
In situations where an MRO needs to connect its system to those of external customers such as airlines and suppliers, an MRO IT system such as AMOS “has a huge number of APIs available” to make this possible, Clements said. “This enables consistency and real-time updates across all of the connected systems. Again, as a software solution, AMOS has been developed from day one from within an aviation environment (Crossair) to ensure that industry needs were met directly.”
One area where ERP systems may not be able to meet MRO requirements is the specialized maintenance and repair processes used in the aviation industry that are not employed anywhere else. In contrast, MRO IT systems are specifically designed to manage complex aircraft maintenance workflows, track aircraft components and their service history — which is very important in this time of widespread counterfeit parts — handle work orders and inspections, and ensure that everything being done within the organization complies with regulations.
As well, trying to adapt a broad-based ERP system to meet MRO industry needs can be daunting. At the very least, doing so will require “considerable time, deep expertise, and customization costs to develop and maintain this ERP system over the life cycle of its usage,” said Saran.
In addition, there will be exposure to risk by the ERP’s users due to the reconfiguration of the system and the use of potentially untested alterations to make it work. “Then there is the learning curve for the users,” Saran said. “The ERP may not work the way they are accustomed to, so learning to use the ERP tends to be longer when compared to MRO-specific IT systems.”
Because they are purpose-built for aviation, MRO IT systems are more likely to integrate seamlessly with related software applications such as flight operations management and inventory control. This allows for better coordination between different departments within an MRO or airline, justifying the decision to use an MRO IT system rather than an ERP.
A further area where ERP systems may fall short is with respect to industry-specific analytics and reporting requirements. Many MRO IT systems are designed to provide detailed insights into aircraft performance, maintenance costs, and forecasting for future needs. These features allow airlines to make data-driven decisions regarding fleet maintenance, and MROs to tailor their offerings to these decisions accordingly.
“MRO IT systems are designed within the context of industry practices, which means that the solution can be deployed with no, or minimum, customization,” said Saran. “As MRO IT systems R&D is focused on a specific domain, products get enhanced continuously with respect to regulatory and statutory requirements. In ERP deployments, such enhancements may result in additional costs, depending on the extent of vendor support and/or customization.”
Making the Choice
We’ve seen the facts. So how does an MRO decide between an ERP and MRO IT system? Should they base the decision on cost or capability?
The answer lies in what the MRO is seeking from its enterprise management platform. “If the organization wants a higher degree of fit or quick turnaround, then the MRO IT systems options would be the best fit,” Saran said. “An ERP could be the best fit if the organization has the preparatory knowledge to execute whatever needs to be customized and has the internal talent to maintain the system.”
Another salient question to ask is what is the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’? For instance, an ERP may cost less than an MRO IT system initially, but a user has to factor in the additional costs of making the ERP work in an MRO environment? Is the ERP really ‘off-the-shelf’ ready or does it require customizations and maintenance that will push up its total cost? And remember: It’s a well-known fact that cookie-cutter ERP systems make their bread and butter on customizations.
“At Swiss-AS, convincing customers to invest in AMOS can be a challenge for our salespeople,” Clements admitted. “However, this challenge is quickly overcome when clients determine the best path for realizing added value in their business. “When supporting our sales prospects in making their best decisions, we are able to demonstrate that AMOS offers the opportunity to implement industry best practices, ensure consistency in data quality and ultimately have control of all the events driving financial data and processes. As well, for those clients who want to digitalize their businesses, Swiss-AS is able to provide digital solutions that combine mobility and paperless processes.”
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that standardized ERP systems, when properly customized, can provide efficiencies for the MRO industry. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the more focused functionality offered by MRO IT systems is more intrinsically suited to the needs of the aviation industry.
Sabena Engineering has selected CrossConsense as main supplier to provide AMOS Support, AMOS Hosting and the migration of existing data into a new system. The aim of this new collaboration is to migrate the existing AMOS environment from Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International (LTMI) which Sabena acquired in December 2021, to a newly hosted environment.
“I am proud of our team at CrossConsense. Our consultants perform data migration projects including database splits or mergers,” said Axel Christ, managing director of CrossConsense. “Our AMOS supporters help our customer’s users if they get stuck. And our data engineers take care of all kinds of interfacing or reporting tasks. The whole team has years of aviation experience. Throughout the pandemic, we kept our team stable, and our customers well cared for. This demonstrates the value of a dedicated, professional AMOS support service. In the same way that we are recognized AMOS experts, Sabena is an experienced and well-renowned MRO provider. We are very proud of adding them to the diverse list of our customers.”
Nicolas Bertrand, AMOS project manager of Sabena Engineering said, “We selected CrossConsense because they were the only partner capable to cope with the scope of our demand, combining a wide range of services and expertise to support the initial migration, the setup of our new system and the associated hosting services. Thanks to the CrossConsense consultants and support team, we are on the way to make our AMOS instance the core system of our MRO organization.”
Software company Comply365 announced its newest customer, Akasa Air, India’s youngest and fastest growing airline, which will use Comply365’s end-to-end operational content and compliance monitoring system to support the airline’s growth plans.The Mumbai-based airline is implementing Comply365’s ProAuthor to leverage a more efficient and streamlined process to create and deliver smart content to its frontline crew members as it consistently adds new aircraft and expands its operations. Launching its first flight in August 2022, Akasa Air is already flying 20 Boeing 737 MAX as it records unprecedented growth in India.
Commenting on the partnership, Capt. Gaurav Pathak, chief of flight safety at Akasa Air said, “At Akasa Air, we endeavor to support our employees with new age solutions that improve their efficiency. We look forward to bringing Comply365 to manage and author our documentation that synergizes across the organization as we scale rapidly in terms of employees and operations. The platform will deliver relevant information to our frontline crew members in a simplified and accessible manner for improved operational efficiency on any iOS, Android, or Windows device. We are confident that the platform will be of tremendous value to our employees and will support our journey as the country’s most dependable and sustainable airline.”
ProAuthor will simplify and automate the airline’s authoring and distribution process for its operational content. The airline will be able to distribute personalized and relevant content to specific groups, synergize documented processes across the departments, and company-defined tags for content will enable easier and quicker searches, enhancing crew member’s safety and efficiency. In addition, electronic forms will provide the airline with an easy way to capture information from the field to make data-driven decisions.
Akasa Air marks Comply365’s first customer in India and joins a community of more than 90 global customers, from start-up airlines to the world’s most mature carriers, from ultra low-cost to full-service airlines, charter operators, cargo airlines, business aviation, ACMI and wet-lease operators, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), flight training and rail operations.
“The demand in the Indian aviation market creates a tremendous opportunity for Akasa Air, and we are happy to support their growth with technology that fits with their focus on efficiency, reliability, sustainability and employee-centricity,” Comply365 CEO Tom Samuel said. “We warmly welcome them into our Comply365 community and look forward to providing their crews with an intuitive mobile app and the information they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.”
For years the aviation industry has struggled with aircraft and engine USM, life limited and flight critical part condition documentation, trace, and quality control.
How can an industry with so much technology flying in today’s aircraft still use carbon paper and sign in sheets at hub locations and in heavy maintenance facilities when it comes to document part conditions and repairs. The pandemic has caused older, more experienced Maintenance Engineers to retire and the airline boom after the pandemics has left a void and shortage in talent with the airlines recruiting at record rates offering gate and baggage handlers a chance to learn to become ME’s. On the other hand, these new young recruits are smart phone and tablet savoy and willing to use new apps in avaition that improve Quality Control and part trace programs for safety and education.
When aircraft are parted out or a part fails on a current flying aircraft it will need testing, repair, overhaul, or replacement. Today airlines, MRO’s and owner operators and airlines have several choices to replace a failed part. Buy a new one (the most expensive). Repair the failed or exhausted part.
For Repairs, the documentation process today is a paper and then digital scan or type-based trace document that is filled out by the service technician on a smart phone or tablet.
The document contains the part number and or a parts Serial Number, the aircraft it was removed from and other related information. Under a new Patented and patent pending methodology (Standardization) a new mobile app renames the picture taken of a part with the part number, a delineator, serial number, a delineator and a UID or UTN number (Universal ID or Universal Tracking Number or asset tag number) used in the airlines or MRO’s ERP system (data linkage).
Using AI (artificial intelligence) and Data Blockchain, the old data files (some records dating back over 100 years depending on the age of the repair facility) will renamed following the Quality Control Application methodology used in mobile device. old files bases on part number, Serial number and UID/UTN data provided by the ERP and the old data is copies to the Cloud organized for the Airline to run all types of reports, such as part failure rates, service turnarounds, logistics, employee part touch activity, asset trace and protections. Shipping part condition protection, sub part and part accessory tracing (asset Protection).
Predictive maintenance and sub part performance of complex systems such as engines (100% of Parts and cables are serialized) Landing gears, APU’s and avionics and other life limited and flight critical parts.
The existing state of universal part condition documentation and trace history faces challenges such as disconnected creation and storage, non-standardized data handling, inefficient storage methods, fragmented data, reluctance to share information, and difficulties in establishing airworthiness. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for the aviation industry to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety, and establish a standardized and comprehensive system for part condition documentation.
A NEW possible solution
Quantum Marketing Group has developed a patented universal global integrated documentation system to address part documentation and trace history challenges. Our solution includes enhanced documentation capture, photo/video/voice recording standardization, a cloud-based filing and tracking platform, universal digital capture with routing and identification, and digital integration across the aviation industry. Implementing this system can improve efficiency, accuracy, and reliability in part documentation. Additionally, we can leverage blockchain technology for enhanced security and data visibility. The invention also includes a methodology to eliminate data files attached to emails, saving storage and maintenance costs. Cross-referencing and integration with FAA and other databases enable seamless compliance and matching of relevant documents. The system operates through the QCcapture mobile app, utilizing AI, blockchain tracking, cloud storage, and generating reports through the Partsfax service. Connecting to the Global LDEX Network allows for licensing old data, AI reports on a pooled database, comparative analysis, yield improvement, failure rate reduction, and turnaround time optimization. This connection provides new income streams, insights, and opportunities for revenue generation.
Proposed new QC Patented and Patent Pending methodologies.
Enhanced data management: Adds automatic push data to RedHat Cloud storage, eliminating the need for manual pull data documentation on LANs, which can be costly and disconnected.
Improved documentation capabilities: Adds push video and voice recording documentation capabilities, streamlining the process and reducing reliance on manual methods.
Streamlined part documentation processes: Improves part out and line maintenance part documentation processes, including high-resolution photos and optional video documentation, providing comprehensive records.
Blockchain trace data integration: Incorporates blockchain trace data via the mobile app, allowing for enhanced traceability and transparency in aircraft part valuations.
Enhanced safety and compliance: Improves safety and compliance by enabling high-resolution photos for review and proactive compliance through new photo, video, and voice recording standards.
Accountability for shipping damages: Ability to identify and track shipping damages of parts between airlines and repair vendors, ensuring condition accountability.
Advanced QC information: Provides detailed QC information on part conditions and necessary parts for repairs, utilizing descriptions, photos, and voice capture, setting new industry standards.
Shortened repair turnaround times: Allows for pre-repair mobile capture of part condition, enabling pre-ordering and scheduled repairs, reducing turnaround times.
Standardization of data capture: Introduces new data standardization for photo, video, and voice capture throughout the life of a part or part exchange, ensuring consistency and compatibility.
Proactive repair and overhaul process: Facilitates proactive repair and overhaul by capturing failure or damage descriptions via the application, expediting the repair process.
The increased asset value of USM: Well-documented parts with photo, video, and voice capture files hold increased asset value compared to undocumented parts.
Documentation of missing parts and accessories: Enables pre-repair documentation of missing parts and accessories through pictures, ensuring comprehensive records.
Seamless integration and data sharing: Integrates into existing identification and tracking systems of airlines, MROs, and asset owners, enabling seamless data sharing.
Improved traceability of BER parts: Enhances traceability of failed or unrepairable parts, facilitating better documentation and management.
Post-repair documentation and marketing: Documents the condition of the part post-repair and shipment, offering valuable data for marketing purposes.
Open system design for data sharing: Supports data sharing with CRP and MRO applications for AI through an open system design.
Integration with FAA, EASA, CAAC, ARSA, ASA: Can be integrated with various aviation regulatory bodies, ensuring compliance with industry standards.
Universal mobile applications: Runs on a wide range of mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows, and other operating systems with camera, video, and voice recording capabilities.
Standard file formats and high-resolution image capture: Creates standards-based file formats such as JPEG, WAV, Q file, and MOV, and supports high-resolution image capture for improved data quality.
Part tracking across different aircraft: Enables tracking of a part from off-wing to back on-wing, even with exchanges on different airline aircraft, ensuring global tracking capability.
Improved part safety and repair compliance: Enhances part safety through FAA monitoring and traceability, contributing to improved repair compliance and AI integration.
Future-ready with advanced technology: Can leverage emerging technologies like 3D cameras, infrared, and other advancements in image, video, and sound technology.
Growth potential with high-quality data: Future-proof system that supports the communication of large files, such as 4K and 8K pictures and videos, efficiently through G5 mobile networks.
Problem Worth Solving
The existing state of universal part condition documentation and trace history, from birth to beyond economic repair (BER), faces several significant challenges. These challenges can be summarized as follows:
Disconnected Documentation Creation and Storage: Part documentation is currently created and stored on disconnected computer networks and company servers. These systems lack integration and do not facilitate seamless data exchange between companies and government agencies. As a result, there is a lack of standardized processes for secure documentation data capture, review, exchange, access sharing, and collaboration.
Non-Standardized Secure Data Handling: The current lack of standardization hampers the secure handling of documentation data. The absence of universal routing, tracking, and collaboration mechanisms further compounds this issue. This lack of standardization makes it difficult to establish a consistent and reliable workflow for documenting and managing part condition information.
Inefficient Storage and Distribution Methods: The storage and distribution of part documentation files and images present challenges. Large quantities of storage space are consumed by these files, and when multiple copies of images are emailed or stored in disconnected outsourced file storage systems, duplication occurs, further exacerbating the problem.
Fragmented and Isolated Data: Aircraft consists of numerous separable parts, each with its own unique condition and history. Currently, maintenance companies rely heavily on manual record-keeping, which often involves stacks of printed PDFs. Even when data is digitized, it remains fragmented and isolated across multiple parties and systems, hindering efficient information sharing and collaboration.
Reluctance to Share Information: Suppliers, vendors, and customers within the same manufacturing ecosystem often hesitate to share information due to competitive concerns. This reluctance adds another layer of complexity to the process of obtaining comprehensive and accurate part condition data.
Challenges in Establishing Airworthiness: In situations where provenance is lacking or an invoice is missing, establishing the airworthiness of a part requires extensive investigation, testing, and recertification. This process is time-consuming and costly, further underscoring the need for a more efficient and streamlined approach to part condition documentation.
Addressing these challenges is crucial for the aviation industry to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety, and establish a standardized and comprehensive universal part condition documentation and trace history system.
To address the existing challenges in part documentation and trace history, we propose the development of a universal global integrated documentation system with the option of companies to use the technology internally and have an option to connect to a global pooled database named LDEX (Linke Data Exchange) to rum PartsFax reports comparing their internal data to industry data while protect the airline, MRO and OEM using random names such as Airline “A” or MRO “C” and repair shop “J” in the reports (protecting confidentiality). This system aims to improve the quality and control of support documentation for aircraft and engine parts. The key elements of our solution are as follows:
Enhanced Documentation Capture: We plan to improve the process of trace documentation by leveraging advancements in photo, video, and voice recording technologies. Mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, and PDAs will serve as mobile scanners and copiers. With improvements in pixel density, DPI and the introduction of technologies like 4K and the upcoming 8K, the quality of photos, videos, and document copies will continually improve.
Standardization of Photo, Video, and Voice Recording: Currently, part photos taken for documentation purposes vary in pixel, format, and file size. Additionally, file names assigned by devices can be random, leading to potential file duplication. Our invention aims to automate and standardize the use of photo, video, and digital voice recording for documenting part conditions. It ensures that each file is properly named and related to the work order or repair process. This standardized approach streamlines the documentation process and facilitates efficient tracking and traceability.
Cloud-Based Solution for Filing and Tracking: Our solution envisions a cloud-based platform that offers universal standardized filing and tracking capabilities with robust authentication and security measures. This platform will enable the aviation industry to securely share information, tracing it back to specific part numbers and serial numbers. It provides a single, centralized solution for all stakeholders, improving efficiency and accountability.
Universal Digital Capture with Routing and Identification: Our invention automates the capture and naming process of photos, videos, and voice recordings by incorporating data entry methods before and during the capture. This includes embedding routing data, universal identification information, and tracking details related to the specific part being captured. The methodology ensures new levels of tracking, part condition accountability, and security in the part out and repair process.
Digital Integration across the Aviation Industry: Our solution extends beyond individual repair processes and aims to integrate digital photo, video, and voice recording capabilities into field offices, parts depots, and other relevant areas. It eliminates the reliance on paper trace documents and enables seamless digital documentation throughout the entire lifecycle of aircraft parts, including their repair, overhaul, and tracking processes.
The proposed QCcapture and PartsFax applications offer distinct advantages compared to the existing practices in the industry. By incorporating a predefined image and voice capture capability, the invention introduces a higher level of protection and accountability for all parties involved in the removal, shipping, and parts repair process. Moreover, it enhances inspection and compliance capabilities to meet federal documentation standards and practices within the aviation industry.
Blockchain’s decentralized, immutable, and consensus-based nature makes it a perfect fit for our invention. At the most basic level, every blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that take place on a peer-to-peer network with the ability to control visibility – who has permission to see which data. Blockchain offers the capacity to create a digital birth certificate for every part that is updated each time the part moves through the supply chain or is installed on a plane. The part’s status also gets updated every time the plane is serviced or inspected by a technician. That part’s digital record could include the aircraft’s tail number and configuration, the part’s location in the plane, its manufacturer, the identity of each technician who has touched the part, and the location where the service was performed. These digital records can be aggregated to provide a real-time snapshot of each parts condition from cradle to grave, decades later. Blockchain can also be used to ensure that participants have access only to the information they’re entitled to. blockchain could simultaneously improve participants visibility into their own businesses while safeguarding their data from competitors.
Integrating blockchain into the documentation and tracking methodologies of the present invention further enhances the value of the searchable parts history report disclosed herein.
An important feature of the methodology by design embodied in the present invention will be the ability to eliminate data files related to part numbered and serialized parts being attached to emails for ecommerce or other reason. When a data file currently is attached it is also archived in the email server data base and once delivered to the recipient also archived on in the email server of the other company or individual, wasting memory. The current environment is to use the stored silo libraries linked to the master database in the cloud and share the data files via a link for viewing or downloading upon request. The part history reports also can be shared or linked to any email. Again, the Part History have links in them to the master database eliminating the need to move files as attachments in email which also results in blockage from email virus protection programs and company firewalls and content license limits. This methodology will save companies billions of bytes a year in storage and file maintenance costs.
The application of cross-referencing methodologies allows for seamless integration with FAA and other relevant databases. This integration facilitates the matching of Air Worthiness Directives (AWD), ADs (Airworthiness Directives), and other compliance documents pertaining to the specific part undergoing repair or overhaul. It also enables the inclusion of OEM recalls and part notifications, ensuring comprehensive compliance measures.
Outlined below are the key capture points facilitated by the applications:
Capture after removal from the aircraft: The invention enables the capture of photos and potentially voice recordings immediately following the removal of the part from the aircraft. This documentation serves as a vital reference point for the condition assessment and subsequent repair process.
Photo capture upon receipt before repair is complete and part shipped: Prior to completing the repair process and shipping the part, the invention allows for capturing photos. These photos provide evidence of the part’s condition after repair and serve as a reference for quality control purposes.
Photo of not repairable part: In cases where the part is deemed unrepairable, the invention enables the capture of photos documenting its condition. This documentation is essential for establishing the part’s status and determining appropriate next steps, such as disposal or replacement.
Photo of completed repair or overhaul: Upon completion of the repair or overhaul process, the invention facilitates capturing photos of the part. These photos serve as evidence of the completed work and ensure transparency in the repair process.
By implementing this universal global integrated documentation system, we can significantly enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of part documentation and trace history in the aviation industry. This solution will establish standardized practices, compliance, and architecture for partners worldwide, paving the way for improved collaboration and information sharing.
How does it work?
During the initial stage of implementation, the following steps outline how QCcapture operates and integrates with the existing ERP system for internal use:
Capture App: QCcapture is a newly developed mobile application that allows users to capture the physical condition of aircraft parts using the camera feature on their mobile devices. This can be done through photo, video, or voice recording, and the captured information is linked to the corresponding part number, serial number, or asset tag number.
Engine Part Condition Documentation: The app enables the documentation of the condition of engine parts throughout their handling process, including pre- and post-shipping conditions. This ensures comprehensive tracking and traceability.
Plug and Play Blockchain Tracking: A blockchain tracking system is integrated into the mobile app, creating a unique blockchain identification for each captured file. This adds an extra layer of security and traceability to the documentation process.
Employee Accountability: The mobile app records date, location, and time stamps on all data files, ensuring accountability and providing a clear audit trail.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration: The system incorporates AI capabilities specifically designed for engines and Usable Serviceable Material (USM) at a significantly reduced cost compared to developing a custom AI solution. Ongoing support and updates for the AI component are provided by IBM.
Cloud Storage Backup: The captured data is backed up in a secure cloud storage environment, utilizing RedHat technologies. This redundancy ensures data protection and availability, mitigating the risk of potential ransomware attacks from the dark web.
Internal Program Execution: Initially, the program is intended for internal use. It allows for running AI reports on specific parts to track usage rates, identifies performance differences among different vendors’ parts, and determine parts that can exceed the manufacturer’s recommended usage rates for improved yields. AI reports can also compare engine parts’ performance based on their model numbers.
Asset Protection and Traceability: QCcapture provides checks and balances for asset protection against damage or loss caused by third parties or employees. It enables data traceability for accountability, particularly in AOG (Aircraft on Ground) incidents.
Time Management: The system facilitates efficient time management by tracking the removal, replacement, repair, and overhaul processes. It generates PartsFax reports to provide insights into turnaround time (TAT) and supports material management by offering logistical data and traceability for material handling.
Tools Management (Optional): QCcapture can be optionally linked to the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) catalog of tools required for part repair, modification, or replacement, streamlining the tool management process.
By following these steps, QCcapture improves the documentation and traceability of aircraft parts within the ERP system, enhancing operational efficiency and asset protection during the initial stage of implementation.
Connect to Global LDEX Network (Data Share), and generate reports through our Partsfax service:
In this stage of development, the focus is on connecting to the Global LDEX Network and leveraging the data sharing capabilities it offers. This aspect introduces a new income stream for your company through the concept of “Dollars for Data.” The following elaborates on the significance and benefits of this connection:
Licensing Old Data: By connecting to the Global LDEX Network, your company can monetize its existing data by licensing it to interested parties. This means that other organizations can access and utilize your company’s historical data, providing you with royalties in return. This represents a novel way to generate additional revenue and maximize the value of your data assets.
AI Reports on Global Pooled Database: The integration with the Global LDEX Network enables the execution of AI reports on the same part numbers available in the network’s pooled database. We will generate these reports for you under our service called “Partsfax.” This opens up opportunities for performance comparison, yield analysis, failure rate evaluation, and Turn Around Time (TAT) assessment. By leveraging the collective data from multiple sources, your company gains valuable insights into the performance of specific part numbers, allowing for informed decision-making and optimization of operations.
Secure and anonymous Comparative Analysis: With access to a diverse range of data from various contributors within the Global LDEX Network, your company can conduct comparative analyses. This involves benchmarking the performance and characteristics of specific part numbers across different datasets. By identifying patterns, trends, and variations, your company can gain a comprehensive understanding of how these parts perform in different contexts and under various conditions.
Yield Improvement and Failure Rate Reduction: By running AI reports on the global pooled database, your company can identify areas for yield improvement and reduce failure rates. Analyzing the performance data of specific part numbers can reveal potential inefficiencies, weak points, or areas that require further attention. Armed with this information, your company can implement targeted improvements, enhance quality control measures, and optimize processes to achieve higher yields and lower failure rates.
Turn Around Time Optimization: The data available in the Global LDEX Network allows your company to evaluate Turn Around Times (TAT) for specific part numbers. By comparing TATs across different datasets and analyzing contributing factors, your company can identify bottlenecks, streamline processes, and implement strategies to optimize turnaround times. This leads to improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
In summary, connecting to the Global LDEX Network unlocks new opportunities for your company to generate revenue through licensing old data like the recording industry does!
It also enables advanced analysis and comparison of part performance, yields, failure rates and turnaround times through Partsfax. Leveraging the collective power of the network’s data empowers your company to make data-driven decisions, enhance operational efficiency, and drive continuous improvement in the aviation industry.
Who owns the rights to repair data. The owner of the part and any company paying a third part to service that part according to copyright law!
According to copyright.gov, “Companies, organizations, and other people besides the work’s creator can also be copyright owners. Copyright law allows ownership through “works made for hire,” which establishes that works created by an employee within the scope of employment are owned by the employer.”
• Adds Pull Photo vs Push photos documentation capabilities.
• Adds Pull Video documentation capabilities. Adds Pull Voice
recording documentation capabilities.
• Improve Part out and Line Maintenance applications.
• Improved QC on all parts owned by the airline, MRO or OEM.
• Improve Safety and Compliance on aircraft parts.
• Improved compliance – new Photo Video and Voice
• Ability to identify and track shipping damages of parts
between the airline and its repair vendors.
• Advanced QC information on condition of part and needed
parts for repairs by description and photo/video/voice
capture currently not available in the industry.
• Shorten Repair Turn Around Times – See condition of part
before it arrives at shop and pre order and schedule
• Documents the condition of the part into a shop pre repair.
• NEW standardization of photo/video/voice capture for the
life of a part or part exchange (Pixels- file size-compression).
• Faster repair and overhaul turnaround time (technician can
describe failure or damage vie the application and this
information can arrive before the part arrives at the shop
speeding up the repair process). Proactive vs Reactive
• Increased asset value of a well-documented part with
photo/video/voice capture files vs a part without the
• Identify any connectors or accessories attached or missing
from the part.
• Can integrate into airline, MRO and asset owners existing
Identification and tracking system.
• It enables failed or unrepairable parts to be better
• Documents the condition of the part post repair and
shipment (can be used in marketing).
• Can be used in block chain documentation support.
• Can be OEM or third party integrated.
• Can be FAA, EASA, CAAC,ARSA, ASA integrated.
• Universal Mobile applications -will run on Iphones-Ipads-
Android-Windows- or other operating systems or portable
devices with camera, video, and voice recording capability.
• Creates Jpeg, Wav, Q file, MOV and other file format
• Enables high resolution image capture and conversion.
• Follows a part from off wing to back on wing even with
exchanges on different airline aircraft. (Global Tracking).
• New levels of part Safety with Improved and traceable part
• Use 3D cameras, infrared or any new and improved camera
Kalitta Air and TrustFlight announced that TrustFlight will provide its innovative electronic tech log, reliability analytics and fleet oversight tools for Kalitta Air’s fleet of twenty-nine (29) aircraft and subsequent additions to its fleet.
Air cargo operators such as Kalitta Air use tech logs to record airframe usage and discrepancies for internal and regulatory oversight. As a global standard operating procedure, a log is completed for every flight operation by civilian and military aircraft operators. While most air freight carriers currently utilize paper-based reporting systems, Kalitta Air will deploy TrustFlight’s digital tech log solution. In addition, Kalitta Air will implement TrustFlight’s reliability analytics and fleet oversight tools to gain a real-time analysis of their fleet to optimize maintenance activities.
“Implementing electronic logs enables us to benefit from increased operational efficiencies and maintain our reputation for reliable on-time performance worldwide,” said Christopher Barks, director of quality control & chief inspector for Kalitta Air. “TrustFlight impressed us with the capability and ease of use of their systems alongside their knowledge of maintenance processes.”
Karl Steeves, director of TrustFlight said, “Kalitta Air is a pioneer in air cargo, globally recognized for its long history of success and operational acumen. They are well-positioned to transition to all- digital tech log record keeping. We’re proud that they have entrusted TrustFlight for this task.”
Japanese aircraft engine manufacturer and maintenance provider IHI, has completed its deployment of Rusada’s Envision software, transitioning to paperless MRO in the process.
IHI’s Life Cycle Solution Division, Aero Engine, Space & Defence Business Area, headquartered in Tokyo, focuses on the maintenance of V2500, GEnx, CF34, and PW1100G-JM engine components. Previously its maintenance teams used an array of spreadsheets and paper records to manage their library of task cards which caused numerous issues. This included the continuous updating of task card data upon OEM maintenance manual revisions, as well as the inability to record inspection results on the cards themselves.
To address these issues IHI selected, and have now implemented, ENVISION’s Digital Task Cards. “Our previous process was far too time-consuming and made it difficult for regulators to see the decisions we had made and why,” said Tomoyuki Chida, head of quality engineering group at the division of IHI. “With ENVISION now in place we can realize significant time savings, automatically validate task input, and provide our technicians with useful supporting information, all without the need for paper.”
ENVISION achieves this through a series of functions. First, IHI imports manuals into the system, and the task cards within are extracted and set up as digital records. Users can then customize these with additional fields and functions such as electronic signoffs, feedback capture, and alternate task procedures. When manuals are revised, the underlying task card data can be automatically updated while keeping any customized content intact.
“As a software provider it is always incredibly satisfying when we can take a very manual and time-consuming process and create functionality that can perform it in the blink of an eye,” comments Julian Stourton, Rusada CEO. “IHI’s willingness to adapt and their desire for continuous improvement is truly commendable and has made them the perfect early adopter of this functionality.”
Ramco Systems announced the release of version 5.9.6 of its Aviation Suite — a product release designed to improve usability and enhance efficiency for MROs and operators. With enhancements across various business models, this release delivers toolsets aimed at driving digital transformation for aviation enterprises.
Ramco Aviation Suite V5.9.6 offers customers the ability to realize true paperless maintenance operations with the enhanced content management module — ePublications, which is seamlessly integrated with Ramco’s full-function and native mobile “anywhere” apps. The solution simplifies complex assembly maintenance with comprehensive improvements in work planning, execution, and closure functions, enabling the complete management of complex assembly maintenance processes within the system. Enhancements in the solution’s material requirements planning (MRP) and work order scheduling modules will enable organizations to optimize their existing labor, capacity and material resources. On the MRO sales front, the solution enables customers to model over 150 variants of contracts across various MRO business segments. Ramco’s customer portal will serve as a centralized location for customers to access information, perform approvals, raise service requests, communicate with the MRO and much more. Thus, helping them improve customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and increase revenue.
“We are thrilled to introduce the latest version of Ramco Aviation Suite, which further solidifies our presence in the industry as one of the true enterprise applications,” said Manoj Kumar Singh, chief customer officer — aviation, aerospace and defense, Ramco Systems. “It’s a significant milestone in our commitment to helping companies in the industry digitally transform their business. With its powerful new features and comprehensive toolset, Ramco Aviation Suite empowers organizations to drive efficiency and growth, thereby enabling them to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape. We are excited to witness the positive impact Ramco Aviation Suite will have on businesses, as they leverage its capabilities to unlock their true potential.”
Meanwhile, Ramco Systems also announced that it will implement its next-gen Aviation Suite V5.9 at AI Engineering Services Limited (AIESL). Ramco says their digital platform will further enrich the 20-year-old association with AIESL, thereby offering them operational efficiency, simplified processes and enhanced customer experience.
Ramco Aviation Suite will provide AIESL with modules covering third-party MRO services including line, hangar, engine and component maintenance, engineering and CAMO services, supply chain management and digital task cards. The solution will also enable AIESL to connect with suppliers, thereby aiding the flow of information. Through an accelerated data migration and execution plan, the implementation of Ramco Aviation Suite will be streamlined for rapid integration and quicker deployment.
“Our decision to adopt Ramco Aviation Suite was driven by its unmatched compatibility with our strategic direction,” said Shri Sharad Agarwal, CEO, AI Engineering Services Ltd. “Considering the comprehensive MRO-specific functionalities, and out-of-the-box solution, we are keen to leverage Ramco Aviation Suite to drive efficiencies, transform our operations and support our vision to provide best-in-class services to our customers by maintaining the highest standards of regulatory and safety compliance. With Ramco’s latest technology, we look forward to staying ahead on the innovation front and delivering superior and differentiated services to our customers.”