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Aviation News With EngineWise, Pratt & Whitney is betting on data analytics

With EngineWise, Pratt & Whitney is betting on data analytics

Interview by Romain Guillot
07 JUN 2017 | 769 words
With EngineWise, Pratt & Whitney is betting on data analytics
Pratt & Whitney
At the end of April, Pratt & Whitney launched a new brand intended to promote all of its services. Le Journal de l'Aviation met Eva Azoulay, Vice president Engine Services at Pratt & Whitney on the day when EngineWise was made official. This was the ideal opportunity to discover how engine data analytics will improve operations.

What is EngineWise and what does it bring to the table?

For us, EngineWise was really a way of bringing together our past, our present and our future, driven by knowledge, expertise and intelligence. We had to bring together everything we do at Pratt & Whitney to provide more value to our customers, to be more predictive, more responsive and to drive innovation and technical capabilities that would make the whole industry better, smarter and more capable.

Is your whole engine portfolio covered?

Absolutely, our commercial engine portfolio of products. This goes from our engines which have already been in service for a long time, such as the PW4000, the V2500 of IAE and also the new GTF. The idea is to place all the improvements and developments to our capabilities under the same brand, by making them visible and showing how they are coming together, making us better in supporting and servicing our customers.

In real terms, what will this change for your customers?

There are a lot of benefits for customers, especially in predictive and data analytics. We have already collected a huge quantity of data on previous generation engines, but we now have a two-pronged approach. First of all, for new engines which have more sensors and provide more data. For example, the GTF collects 40% more data than previous engines. This knowledge will enable us to create more predictive algorithms.

But we don't want to just concentrate on new generation engines, as we have a very large fleet in service, with over 10 500 engines. This is why we have developed a solution called "eFAST", a data acquisition and transmission unit which can collect snapshot data, which most airlines use today, but also full-flight data. We have been working on tools that can predict and schedule engine removals to increase dispatch reliability. This has enabled us to create new predictive algorithms and capabilities.

In addition, this year we launched the UTC Digital Accelerator in Brooklyn [New York, ed.], which will enable us to speed up our developments, with a team of 250 scientists and data analysts who will be working exclusively on UTC. This will enable us to develop new offers and adapt to new customer requirements.

The fleet of planes powered by GTFs continues to expand. How is data used today?

We now have more than 150 planes in service equipped with GTF, A320neos and the CSeries. eFAST technology is already installed on the CSeries and we collect all the flight data for the fleet. The approach is slightly different for the A320neos, as we work with Airbus to collect data. But we are also starting to receive a lot of it.

How many people are currently dedicated to support and services at Pratt & Whitney?

We have over 5000 people currently working exclusively in these areas. We have a network of 18 centres, both our own and those that we run through joint ventures. We also have a much wider network which includes our partners and the airlines we work with, MRO facilities and so on. For Pratt & Whitney as a whole, we will see a significant growth with the recruitment of 25 000 people over 10 years. Some of them will be retirements and replacements, but a significant portion will be meeting the growth of all our products.

This is were EngineWise also comes in. With all of these new hirings and all this new individuals who'll be joining us, we will have to provide them with all our data knowledge, tools and capabilities so that they can be very proficient quickly. We need to take advantage of the knowledge of our existing teams and also use new technologies and innovation to be able to recruit as quickly as possible, with the level of expertise we have today.

Do these new recruitments represent a challenge for Pratt & Whitney?

We've been quite successful, even if of course this does represent a challenge, as everyone is looking to grow at the same time. But Pratt & Whitney is an attractive organisation, where people are passionate about aviation. We continue to work very closely with a lot of universities, and making sure we are all connected, but so far so good !
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia

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