Data use is obviously a major concern in the MRO world and UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is no exception. The American UTC group's aerospace components and services provider took the opportunity of the MRO Americas show which was held in Orlando (Florida) between 10th and 12th April to launch is own data analysis-based prognostics and health management (PHM) solution named Ascentia, and FlightSense, a new range of services for repair and asset management.
Ascentia enables the health of equipment to be monitored from the data it generates. UTAS has developed algorithms from physics-based modeling and statistical analysis and has integrated an artificial intelligence dimensions with machine learning.
UTAS is supported by the partnership signed between UTC, its parent company, and Microsoft. In particular, the American giant provided it with Cloud tools and helped it develop its solution.
A new range of services
From this point, UTAS has developed a certain number of services geared towards predictive maintenance for airlines, which will now be branded under the name FlightSense. These services have been developed over several months in partnership with a launch customer. The customer hasn't yet been named, but a first contract should be announced officially over the next few weeks.
For Shiv Trisal, UTAS Associate Director responsible for Aftermarket Digital Strategy, the combination of Ascentia and FlightSense will enable customer airlines to improve fleet availability, reduce unscheduled maintenance costs and optimize maintenance intervals through greater predictability.
Parts management is also one of the key elements of FlightSense, which will be able to indicate spare parts availability to customers, but also an estimate of their acquisition cost on UTAS customer portal. In particular, this will enable airlines' technical departments to organise themselves better to optimise components replacement and reduce costs.
"FlightSense will finally include a human dimension." It's not just data," explains Shiv Trisal. "It is a question of driving intelligence from these data. Beyond health alerts and notifications, our technicians and engineers will analyze them and make recommendations to companies with an alert and notification system. For example, they can monitor the fleet and help optimize maintenance plans, or go on-site to coordinate maintenance operations."
FlightSense will cover all of the references designed by UTAS, whether for electrical generation, air management or landing gear. In the long term, the company is not ruling out expanding its scope to other piece of equipment if demand from customers is there.
Shiv Trisal specifies that Ascentia will be offered to customers who already have maintenance contracts with UTC Aerospace Systems, but also marketed autonomously in the form of subscription. He adds that beyond FlightSense, a range of services and tools can also be developed from the capabilities Ascentia, and InteliSight, UTAS' aircraft data management suite, offers, both for maintenance and flight operations, with for example applications on Electronic Flight Bags and Electronic Flight Folders (EFB and EFF).