CORDIS - EU research results

Airline Maintenance Operations implementation of an E2E Maintenance Service Architecture and its enablers

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - AIRMES (Airline Maintenance Operations implementation of an E2E Maintenance Service Architecture and its enablers)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-11-30

AIRMES brings together 12 partners from 6 countries, among big industries, SMEs, research centres and universities.
The final project outcome was characterised by demonstration in operational environment of most of the technologies developed.
The solutions developed in AIRMES will contribute to:
• Reduce aircraft technically induced operational disruptions;
• Optimise the use of airline and MROs’ assets;
• Streamline workflows in aircraft line maintenance environments.
Most of the objectives of the project have been successfully achieved, within the budget and the timeframe initially planned.
WP1 – E2E Service & Operations Design (M2P)
The main outcomes of this WP were cross guidelines to all the working teams as the design process and IVV plan, the reference Operational Scenarios and a study on the E2E Maintenance Business Analysis which was the basis for the evaluation of the project’s results.

WP2 – E2E Maintenance Platform and IHMM Development and Demonstration (ONERA)
WP2 encompassed activities of different natures and hence exhibits different sorts of results: the full E2E system standardised (NAF compatible) documentation has been produced; the safety of the E2E system have been assessed; the Integrated Health Monitoring and Management (IHMM) system, a key element of the E2E system, have been grown from TRL4 to TRL6; the improvements brought by all enablers in the project have been collected and integrated in an overall E2E assessment system. This system allows to evaluate and communicate the impact of AIRMES on the maintenance business in the coming years envisaging different company sizes scenario.

WP3 – Prognostics solution development, integration and operational performance demonstrations (MSA)
The results are detailed extensively in report D362-3.2.2. The main conclusions of this WP are: prognostics based on Boolean data; reduced number of operational interruptions does not generate savings for airlines if it comes from a high extra cost of maintenance; prognostics solutions need to gain the trust of the user prior to being widely used.

WP4 – Collaborative and Data Analytics Environment (ATOS)
The Collaborative Environment has been built by increments, provided to partners and fully demonstrated during the final integration demonstration: platform reached all technical objectives and answered the needs of the partners; Cloud Platform to facilitate integration of application, data, and knowledge was the good one; AIRMES Collaborative Environment demonstrates that these technologies can also be used by smaller organisations; technical features of the solution are not limited to the Maintenance domain but can address more generally other Industry 4.0 domains.

WP5 – Maintenance Planning and Optimisation and Configuration Management Solutions (TUD)
The Configuration Capturing (CC) function was fully integrated with the Configuration Management (CM) module as a single solution. Both modules, now called CCCM, have achieved a significant level of maturity in terms of available functions: covering the initialisation, consultation, comparison and storage of an ‘as-allowed’ and ‘as-flying’ product structures, including SW parts management (Software Parts); link between the documentation (Service Bulletin) and the related change; CCCM interface completes the integration with the AIRMES environment and the Workspace.
The Maintenance Planning and Optimisation (MPO) is a unique function integrating three optimisation functions – the schedule of hangar checks, the definition of the maintenance tasks to be performed per check and the allocation of task per work shift. The function focus on the multiple year planning of the hangar checks, considering a heterogeneous fleet and other maintenance activities (e.g. landing-gear maintenance or cabin retrofitting). Detail is given to each maintenance check schedule, identifying the tasks that need to be performed according to airworthiness requirements and manpower estimated to be available.

WP6 – Integrated Mobile solutions for maintenance execution enhancement (TAP)
The integrated solution for Contextualised Documentation (CD) and Dispatch Assessment (DA) was very well received by the maintenance technicians during the prototype demonstrations in March 2019. By automating the information retrieval for dispatch assessment and providing direct access to relevant documentation, the decision time can be reduced up to 98%. Virtual reality development activities resulted in two prototypes, the first one fulfilled the project requirements regarding portability and type of hardware – standalone VR app running on smartphone for onsite usage. The second prototype was a more robust and with higher definition and better overall experience but less portable thus being more directed to back office usage.
Overall the project is seen as successful and highlights the importance of not only new technological applications in aircraft maintenance, but perhaps even more so of systems integration. Especially in the aviation industry where so many different technologies can converge, AIRMES identified this gap as an area with several potential benefits. WP6 provided such an example with a proof-of-concept of an updated toolkit for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.

WP7 – Management Dissemination and Exploitation (L-UP)
Project monitoring and control was performed through regular meetings and minutes within AIRMES (bi-weekly, WP meetings, SC, PMC, etc.) as well as at ADVANCE level with weekly meetings. Delivery of outputs and contractual deliverables, and milestones stipulated within the DoA and GA were achieved thanks to dynamic teamwork within and outside of AIRMES. Risk Management and register tables were coordinated by WPLs inputs and updates to anticipate and mitigate any blocking points to achieve the E2E final results required to conclude AIRMES as initially planned.
Good project communication, planning, contractual and administrative procedures initially set at the start of AIRMES were maintained throughout the final reporting period. Continued to implement specific tools and methodologies to collect and monitor PM and financial data as well as quality control of the work, outputs and deliverables produced. Regular communication with the TM and PO were also implemented for transparency and promote collaboration on project advancement, minor deviations and mitigation plan.
Major tasks were performed to maintain high-level disseminate activities of AIRMES project (AIRMES website, news publication “Get together File” gathering some potential events interesting for AIRMES community, posters, papers, etc.) and to achieve the final dissemination event held in Hamburg with outstanding results within time, cost and quality.
AIRMES contributed to:
• Deepen research in the predictive maintenance domain, adding more possible alternative solutions to approach the topic as well as new methodologies to pragmatically assess the added value it brings to aviation maintenance.
• Re-think long term aircraft maintenance planning.
• Radically new concepts for aircraft line maintenance technicians’ decision-making support tools, with integrated awareness of organisational context and real time communication with back office departments.
• Reinforce the importance of aircraft maintenance as a relevant research topic in Europe for its decisive contribution to aviation sustainability.