How Predictive Maintenance Could Help | Airline Travel News

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In a recent survey published by Shift5, a data observability firm for the aviation industry, 73% of respondents indicated that the “possibility of being the next headline-grabbing example of equipment failure or unexpected downtime keeps them up at night.” The survey sample included 300 operations, maintenance, and information technology leaders from the United States Department of Defense and commercial air and rail organizations. Additionally, 88 % of respondents said their “organization must improve its ability to predict and prevent equipment failure, but fewer than half have implemented a predictive maintenance solution.”

Predictive maintenance—the basics

What is predictive maintenance? This technology aims to thread the needle between proactive measures, like regularly scheduled maintenance, and reactive measures, such as repairing or replacing equipment when it breaks down. There are many types of predictive maintenance modes available. Still, generally, the technology relies on an aircraft’s sensors, other means of data analysis, and algorithms to help diagnose the condition of its components.

Through real-time condition monitoring, airlines can better gauge when to perform maintenance and, ideally, have those tasks completed precisely when necessary. Data collected from predictive maintenance tools can also help an operator identify when components will likely reach the end of their useful life.

Benefits of predictive maintenance

An airline’s primary interest in deploying predictive maintenance technology is cost reduction. This can be achieved in a couple of different ways. As one might imagine, there is operational efficiency in avoiding performing too much preventive maintenance or waiting until a problem has occurred to fix an issue. Second, when a carrier’s fleet is in good operating condition, there are fewer flight delays and cancelations and reduced air-time-on-the-ground (AoG)…

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