According to a McKinsey survey, digital adoption has taken a giant leap at both the organizational and industry levels. As customers have turned to digital channels, companies have followed suit by developing or adopting digitally enhanced offerings to continue providing a seamless customer experience, boost efficiency, and generate more revenue. Adoption of Digital Trends Even before the pandemic hit, there has already been an increasing demand to replace legacy systems with digital aviation. Some organizations have begun their shift to digital initiatives, such as Big Data Analytics, Biometrics, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, some enterprises are yet to realize these advantages for their operations. The adoption of these digital trends is necessary to stay competitive in these trying times. Here’s how your MRO operations can benefit from the adoption of these digital trends. Big Data Analytics Research shows that the global fleet could generate 98 million terabytes of data by 2026. The aviation industry is one of the leading generators of big data—from engine systems, fuel use, crew activity, and weather systems. This data, which includes mechanical analysis, in-flight metrics and fuel consumption, can be used to predict failures, as well as facilitate preemptive action. Likewise, MRO operators can rely on data analytics to manage their supply chains, which can be of great help in optimizing fixed inventory and overseeing just-in-time spare parts management. By leveraging big data analytics, your organization can make maintenance smarter, flights safer, improve service, and minimize costs. Biometrics Paper documents to track aircraft maintenance works are critical in MRO operations. But the proliferation of a paperless documentation system has led to the development of a fingerprint-based digital signing system to fully digitize the process of signing off on maintenance work orders. With the use of Biometric eSignature and digital storage,you can simplify and streamline MRO activities. Blockchain The use cases for blockchain technology are numerous and it has a huge potential in increasing transparency and comprehensibility in flight maintenance. Blockchain works as a way to store information; for example, manufacturers can register the serial codes of components in a blockchain. Then, once a component is installed in an airplane, data such as flight hours can also be installed in another blockchain. This stored data can then be used by maintenance technicians to verify flight hours, and to consider if the part should be repaired or replaced. Blockchain can also be beneficial for job cards and certifications compliance with MRO regulatory requirements. Utilizing blockchain in MRO operations can help minimize costs and losses due to downtime and unplanned maintenance. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Today’s modern aircraft is equipped with a myriad of sensors to monitor its structural health data in real-time. These data are used to feed AI systems to help predict potential maintenance failures in aircraft before accidents occur, as well as schedule routine maintenance checks and preventive maintenance. And over time, the AI system develops and learns from the data, leading to better analysis and prediction of failure patterns and maintenance requirements. Eventually, the expiry dates of aircraft parts can be accurately forecasted. The use of AI can increase speed, efficiency, workload, and safety in MRO operations. Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) The market for AR and VR is steadily growing as more businesses realize their potential applications and benefits, one of which is bridging the skills shortage gap. Using compatible headsets or wearable devices, AR and VR simulations can help train maintenance professionals and can even speed up the training process. Another use case of AR/VR is managing remote maintenance tasks by integrating it with a configuration-controlled solution. It works by connecting a technical expert located anywhere in the world to an onsite operator in real-time. Again, using a compatible wearable, maintenance workers in remote locations are assisted by a virtual pair of expert eyes and hands to guide them through a complicated task. With AR/VR technology, MRO operators can ensure social distancing protocols in the workplace, save time and money, and improve operational efficiency. Internet of Things (IoT) Internet of Things-enabled devices such as smart sensors are being incorporated in today’s modern aircraft, making it possible to have a connected ecosystem in aviation. IoT sensors are used to collect huge amounts of data on everything from parts performance to overall aircraft efficiency. Some MRO operators are now using tablets and other smart devices to communicate with aircraft sensors to monitor and quickly identify malfunctioning equipment in need of repair or replacement. Paired with data analytics and AI, IoT can significantly reduce downtime for aircraft fleets or mitigate the need for unscheduled maintenance. Furthermore, MROs can benefit from increased operational efficiency, improved asset utilization, and reduced equipment lifecycle costs. Leveraging the above digital trends as part of your digital transformation can greatly help MROs in their overall operations. But if you think digital transformation is expensive and time-consuming, you can gradually transform your organization digitally by using a modular strategy. EmpowerMX helps MRO providers gradually transform their organization digitally by offering modular solutions that are cost-efficient and easy to deploy. To learn more, request a demo today!