Fleet Reliability through Predictive Maintenance

Many people I talk with miss flying, traveling and connecting with friends, family or business partners across the globe. None of us miss flight delays due to unplanned maintenance or because a specific widget wasn’t in stock at the local airport.

As airlines search for ways to improve operational efficiency, data analytics is a tool frequently referred to as the silver bullet that can help operators make better decisions to get better results. The best way to do this? Incorporate data monitoring and data analysis to feed decisions that ultimately drive efficiency and continuous operation. Unfortunately, monitoring a growing or aging fleet with actionable engineering insight is complex, and building analytics capability from the ground up is expensive. Due to the pandemic, many organizations have had to make tough choices about where to focus their resources. We have worked hard to provide an alternative.

Boeing has launched a suite of modular engineering solutions intended to free up resources for airlines, and provide their in-house engineering teams with the best resources to optimize their operations. This includes managed data analytics and prognostics services designed to improve reliability performance. Our fleet reliability offerings identify trends by applying advanced analytics to an operator’s fleet data. We can also incorporate Managed Analytics, creating prognostics designed to prevent unplanned maintenance for next generation aircraft. Airplane Health Management (AHM) uses correlating operator and fleet-wide trend analysis with in-flight airplane performance data to generate actionable engineering insights for the airline.

"Our fleet reliability offerings identify trends by applying advanced analytics to an operator’s fleet data."

Analytical models need to be developed, informed by airline engineers who know the right questions to ask and where to look. The results are then evaluated and turned into actionable analysis. Recently, our team identified a failure mode consistent with inadequate structural support for a nitrogen system duct on an operator’s fleet of 20 aircraft. The root cause was confirmed by analyzing maintenance and aircraft configuration records. Boeing Airline Engineering support identified and recommended an existing Service Bulletin solution for the operator. By partnering with Boeing, operators receive actionable recommendations and awareness of potential component and operational issues across the fleet, helping them efficiently plan maintenance activities to minimize service interruptions.

The value? Increased reliability and utilization. The result? Fewer schedule disruptions for both operators and passengers. That means fewer missed connections, missed meetings, or worse - shortened vacations.