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Importance of detailed data in maintenance operation

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations are of extreme importance for some industries. They are particularly crucial for airplanes, helicopters, trains and heavy production machinery (such as power plant equipment). In fact, some equipment has a lifespan of 20 to 25 years, and over the course of its usage period, for every euro spent to purchase the equipment, MRO costs will be 3 to 3.5 euros.


In this market, the distribution of MRO activities varies widely between the equipment manufacturer of the manufacturer of a significant component of the equipment, the company that operates it and any specialized maintenance operation subcontractors. Historically, manufacturers have preferred to simply issue preventive, corrective, major inspection, reconstruction and expert service standards. Large companies generally assumed responsibility for their MRO, and smaller companies handled only the day-to-day operations and subcontracted the rest. However, the sands are shifting. Manufacturers are now looking to gain a portion of this market to find new sources of revenue, and newcomers in certain industries (such as low cost airlines) want to subcontract everything in order to simplify their business models as much as possible.


In this environment where MRO activities are increasingly outsourced, companies are raising the bar in terms of the objectives set for these operations, and availability maximization and maintenance cost (parts and labor) minimization requirements are ever more stringent. In an effort to reduce the number of scheduled and unscheduled visits and the time and costs they require, companies are changing their procedures and, for example, are attempting to more accurately anticipate the actual operating conditions of their equipment, better optimize the level and location of spare part inventories, more effectively manage reparable part operations, more thoroughly monitor the operations log and harmonize configuration monitoring and modifications.


Most of the time, companies are rather poorly equipped in terms of information systems to meet these objectives. They are using many ill-assorted operational and decision-making systems. Their data is therefore dispersed and their systems are integrated only partially and most often only for certain aggregated data. The decision-making approach is rarely transversal and is often structured by function and/or department while most issues being addressed to optimize MRO operations require combining various data, such as data pertaining to configurations, equipment operation, inspections, and maintenance / review / repair / update / reconstruction operations, with logistics, purchasing, subcontractor contracts, parts and inventory data.


For example, in the aeronautics industry, optimizing MRO operations requires knowing everything about the history of an airplane, its components and its parts, right down to the serial number. It must be possible to monitor the plane, its activity, its performance, its MRO operations and its parts continuously, down to the smallest detail, from its manufacture to its certification. It is impossible to understand or manage anything in this field without information, for example, on the behavior of the plane, maintenance planning, maintenance operation capacities and their location, availability needs, and maintenance operation costs. Only a comprehensive approach that includes purchasing, manufacturing and engineering information feedback will make it possible to reach the high long-term quality objectives that have been set, to manage all aspects of MRO and to optimize equipment activity.


Of course, this type of approach must be implemented gradually, incorporating and using different data sources little by little. In practice, in the aeronautics industry for example, this involves integrating data on configurations, spare parts and inventories, workshops and hangars, maintenance programs, purchases and suppliers, performance, and others. For the USAF (U.S. Air Force), it took six months to integrate an initial transversal data source and four years to cover two-thirds of the entire planned program. One major U.S. airplane manufacturer had to integrate 30 existing decision-making databases and open its system to 18 airlines and 21 component suppliers.


Teradata has provided many clients with such services, and in addition to its corporate data warehousing solutions, which are unequalled in the market, it offers strong functional expertise, one of the best examples of which is its data model created specifically for MRO operations. For further information on this topic, please visit the following website:

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Tags: BI, MRO, SCM, big, data, management, manufacturing, mining, warehouse


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