Aircraft MRO Automation: Which Key Technologies Do You Really Need?

As the world starts to see hope for an upcoming end to the COVID-19 pandemic, air travel is expected to undergo a resurgence after seeing drastic lows in 2020. And with more planes going back in operation, MRO companies will once again have their work cut out for them. Despite an estimated air passenger revenue loss of $314B, projections are positive for the global MRO market. In fact, by the year 2031, it is estimated that global aircraft MRO spending will hit $117.6B.

Technology plays a critical role in MRO operations and the recent trend has shown a steady shift towards digital technologies. So which technologies and functionalities actually provide the biggest advantages for those in the aircraft MRO industry? And are they worth it?

Optimizing MRO Using Advanced Technology

Because the MRO industry works with aircraft that transport thousands to millions of people every year, technology is critical. Every improvement that makes the aircraft maintenance process easier and more efficient goes a long way towards keeping people safe. And the ability to minimize downtime helps companies keep their profit margins secure. 

There are many points in the aircraft maintenance process where key technologies are a big boon. From the administrative aspect down to maintenance management, certain programs and tools can be used to improve performance. Here are a few examples:

Supply Chain Management. Planning and predictive capabilities have come a long way since supply chains went digital. And these are helping industries like MRO and manufacturing reach new heights in their business. Supply chain management has evolved into an independent department with its own workflows and nuances, and it’s no longer just a function under sales or manufacturing. For aircraft MRO, tools that provide planning, forecasting, and replenishment functions ensure a steady and reliable supply chain with little to no interruptions.

Labor Oversight. Just as important as managing materials is handling manpower, which can be made easier using an automatic schedule generator. However, labor demands and requirements aren’t always constant, so your tools must also be able to handle demand forecasting and adjust manpower as needed. Staff and workers are crucial resources too, and MRO companies must properly allocate them to maximize productivity.

Production Control. A lot goes into the repair and maintenance of planes and other aircraft. Not only do you need to manage the materials and the manpower, you also have to make sure production schedules are being followed and status reports are consistently being generated. Technologies designed for production management help make heavy maintenance much easier, offering functions like time tracking, material tooling, and even aircraft log monitoring. Some tools even allow pilots to log aircraft problems mid-flight, letting engineers on the ground prepare early and do the repairs much faster.

Administrative Tools.

Aside from helping with actual maintenance processes, various modules and tools can also significantly streamline administration tasks by setting up contracts, billing, and invoicing using a central interface. In fact, most of these can be automated, further minimizing the need for human intervention aside from exceptional circumstances.

Choosing the right MRO automation tools

As new technology emerges and continuously gets better and better, MRO software and tools will only become faster and more powerful. It is of utmost importance for companies to know what kinds of functionalities would best support their business needs. Digital platforms are the future for MRO and countless other industries, and it is best to avail of a reliable MRO software suite that combines many powerful functionalities.

EmpowerMX gives you access to various Cloud-based and mobile solutions that will help you optimize your operations. Learn more at www.empowermx.com.