4 Technologies That Are Changing The MRO Industry

4 Technologies That Are Changing The MRO Industry

A large portion of the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) industry heavily relies on technology to increase operational efficiency. With close to 30% of total delay time caused by unplanned maintenance (let’s not even begin with the costs this bears!), here’s where technology comes in handy. One common usage of technology in MRO practices is by analysing big data from maintenance operations to turn unscheduled events into scheduled ones.

“Big data: extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations.”

Check out some of the other technological advancements that are becoming increasingly present in the MRO sector to help enhance operations:

  1. MRO Software


Having been around for decades now, the MRO software market is valued at over $1 billion (USD). The predictive skill of MRO software is what sparked their widespread usage across the industry. These purpose-built software aid in maintenance planning, and in recent times, have been optimised for mobile access and cloud storage. At high speeds, the data collected from aircraft is processed to allow for economic optimization and refined maintenance operations. Some operators utilise systems that have been built in-house, and use these in conjunction with another software program.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)


When we think of AI, we’re likely to conjure up images of humanoid figures, highly advanced robots and the likes. What we don’t usually think of, is the useful, predictive technology that helps airlines save a ton of money! There are AI systems that are automated to take charge of routine and mundane tasks, only raising issues to appropriate personnel when human intervention is required. Advanced versions of AI systems can even provide prediction and recommendations to those involved in the maintenance operations – from on-field technicians right to support teams throughout the organisation.

Utilising AI, there is also a system that can sort through constantly changing, and complex part data to find the right part for each job. This technology helped one aerospace manufacturer reduce part searches, which can take up to 4 hours, to only 5 minutes! As Shane Ballman, CEO of AI startup, SynapseMX Inc., is quoted saying, “The end result is a maintenance organization that reacts intelligently to current conditions”.

  1. Augmented Reality



Currently, Boeing is testing out augmented reality via smart glasses. By looking at wiring systems through the lens of smart glasses, technicians and engineers can view hands-free, interactive 3D diagrams in real time. This technology will be a great step up from the traditional 20-feet long drawings that technicians have to refer to. According to Boeing vice president of Digital Aviation and Analytics, the tests show a 90% improvement in first-time fixes, and a 30% reduction in repair time – now that’s a big jump for operational efficiency!

  1. Drones and Robots


Already in use by several large operators, drones and robots have drastically changed how shop floors are run. Incorporating unmanned systems into the delivery of spare parts helps reduce time spent by personnel locating and retrieving parts.

Drones are also being introduced to aircraft inspections. In development, there is an unmanned aircraft system that is equipped to perform visual inspections for damages on the fuselage, such as hail and lightning strike damage. Drones can cut inspections times from 6 hours down to just 2 hours! For airlines with big fleets, this will be a major time-saving factor in mandatory aircraft inspections.

With continuous improvements in the technology we have today, the advancements are many, and the possibilities are endless. This is great news for operators and MRO businesses around the world. However, the rising concern is this: will technology leave no room for human labour in the future?


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