The digital predictive maintenance system developed in-house is chalking up strong results. Henceforth, PROGNOS® is being offered to AFI KLM E&M customers at the same time as it is being developed for the rest of the Air France-KLM Group fleet.
It is now possible to predict a future breakdown or to schedule a maintenance operation beforehand thanks to the PROGNOS® solution, the suite of applications developed by AFI KLM E&M that is part of our The MRO Lab R&D research program.
Tested and approved as a priority on our A380s, the know-how gained is now being extended to other aircraft in the Air France-KLM Group fleet. And as a sign of its success, it is now being offered to third-party customers.
The power of Big Data
The aim of the predictive maintenance tool is clear: "the idea is to decrease cases of AOG, delays and flight cancellations," says Rodolphe Parisot, VP Digital & Innovations at AFI KLM E&M.
To achieve this, the PROGNOS® for Aircraft operational solution is based on the collection and analysis of technical data generated by the thousands or so sensors installed on the aircraft's systems. It's an example of Big Data technology. This continuous stream of flight data is analyzed by the software and transmitted to Air France-KLM Group maintenance control centers, where specialists regularly receive alerts about defective components. This exercise is made possible by the very great amount of data – up to Gb – supplied by new-generation aircraft such as A380 and 787 but also legacy fleets such as A320 family, which is why PROGNOS® was tested first on this aircraft types.
No NFF in hundreds part removals
Based on the data gathered, such as electrical power, speed, angle of attack, or temperature, a predictive algorithm can be put in place. "We have set our algorithms to target alerts in an average of 30-50 flights before a fault becomes effective," says Rodolphe Parisot. "That forecast has proved correct since out of hundreds predictive part removals, there were no NFFs, or No Fault Found, and hence bad reports. Another cause of satisfaction has been the 50% decrease in items in the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and pilot reports on systems monitored by PROGNOS®," adds AFI KLM E&M's VP Digital & Innovations. "Within the next year, for all major aircraft types, we hope to cover 5-6 of the most critical ATA systems, the ones that have the highest priority for our aircraft."
First A320 operators flight in April
In view of these encouraging results, the predictive analysis program is being extended to other aircraft in the Air France-KLM Group fleet. In addition to the A380s, 787, and A320 where the soft-ware has proven its worth, we are including the Boeing 777 and 737, the A350 and A330. In addition, this innovative and efficient system, which helps to predict and also trouble-shoot a problem, has attracted and convinced new operators. "Customers from both Europe and Asia have shown a strong interest in our application. And in April; some of them will be using PROGNOS® on their A320s," confides Rodolphe Parisot.
A prediction that PROGNOS® will be a success is unlikely to turn out wrong!