Use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) for predictive maintenance and forecasting of equipment failures has become the largest buzz in the aviation industry. AI can help troubleshoot unexpected events faster and more effectively. To provide ultimate diagnostic benefits, certain AI techniques can be used in a variety of ways.
A great example is natural language processing. Natural language processing can be used to translate an aviation technician’s spoken inquiry into text that can find answers. This feature can be used to translate past maintenance reports into data to aid in relevant advice for repair. It can also be used to intake repair manuals and quickly locate relevant topics within the manual. Most-likely causes for equipment failure can also be predicted because machine learning can sift through past troubleshooting incidents.
Devices that can enable aviation technicians to collaborate with experts and exploit documented expertise are a godsend, especially when it comes to troubleshooting. By implementing sophisticated techniques to highlight major problems, a better focus on best resources and resolution is created.
HELP WITH TROUBLESHOOTING
Airframe OEMs have become active in providing troubleshooting help. High-tech companies are starting be become more involved in troubleshooting as well.
Currently, Boeing is testing augmented reality on smart glasses. The smart glasses are designed to show aviation technicians hands-free, interactive 3D wiring diagrams. This eliminates technicians from having to review two-dimensional, 20 foot long drawings. The smart glasses also in in better retention of information during repairs. According to Boeing’s vice president, Ken Sain, test results have shown a 90% improvement rate in first-time fixes and a 30% reduction in repair time.
In regard to faster maintenance solutions, Casebank Technologies has created two basic applications: SpotLight and ChronicX.
SpotLight is an application that stores data on symptoms, causes and solutions of equipment failures. When a piece of equipment fails, it can then use this data, through diagnostic reasoning, to recommend optimal troubleshooting steps. Data inputted into the application originates from both OEM manuals and past experiences of defects.
ChronicX is an application that detects and manages recurring defects. It also ranks chronic problems and highlights new trends found in defects. The application uses natural language processing to interpret data from pilot and maintenance records, which spots clusters of reoccurring defects. It then uploads fresh maintenance records every few hours.
By combining SpotLight and ChronicX, a unique solution is created that can improve first-time fix rates and reduce no-fault-founds.
e2b teknologies has developed an asset management software that allows aviation industries to move away from paper spreadsheets and binders. Using RFID technology, aviation companies can automatically check tools in and out and know exactly where they are by simply checking the app. This type of AI eliminates issues such as FOD.
These three applications are just a few of many that have been developed and are currently changing the world of aviation. Companies like IBM, Intel and Acsis have all created applications to help improve troubleshooting and maintenance within the aviation industry.