MRO Management

PAM 2023: Are we ready for fourth generation predictive maintenance?

All stakeholders in the aviation sector need to do more collaboratively to bring in the next generation of aircraft maintenance tools and protocols.

David Miret Mora technical director at AJW Group told the 2023 Predictive Aircraft Maintenance (PAM) Conference that he has not yet seen a game changing moment.

He reported the results of an exclusive survey of PAM delegates and MRO Management readers which found 63% believed that regulations need to be reviewed to advance predictive maintenance.

A fourth generational phase to predictive maintenance which will harmonise data governance, industrialise Big Data and cloud computing and usher in condition-based monitoring.

But Mora said the industry continues to rely on traditional maintenance processes despite advances in engines and pressure being applied by regulations like EU261 to improve operational efficiency.

“I have not seen any major game changer in the maintenance area. This is why it’s great we have these conferences because we can talk to each other and agree what’s the next maintenance generation.

Mora added that the reason regulations need to change is being product owners, like the airlines, “are really ahead of the game while other stakeholders in the industry are quite far behind”.

“Do we believe we are really ready for the fourth generation of aircraft maintenance? We have not yet sat down and agree what that looks like.”

Modern aircraft are now generating huge amounts of data but “the governance of the data and harmonising of the data is something that e are at the moment lacking as an industry”.

David Miret Mora spoke to ABNcast for a special edition recorded at PAM 2023

The survey for PAM found that it is not felt that there is a generally agreed understanding between different stakeholders in the industry of what predictive maintenance is.

When asked how long it will take to implement PAM 50% said between six to 10 years. There are also concerns about high implementation costs while the benefits are hard to quantify.

Mora said while there need to be collaborative thinking on how aviation can improve operations there remain differing views on who owns the data.

The majority of the respondents to the PAM survey (71%) said ownership of the data should be the airline operators.

Meanwhile, just 17% said the data should be owned by all although this was up from 2% when Mora asked a similar question for his university thesis in 2021.

“Now stakeholders realise that if you have an alliance it is more powerful to understand things,” Mora said. “At the end of the day if you don’t have data you just have opinions.”

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