Posted on: 01 May 2018 by Mark Howells
IFS has launched two new software solutions geared specifically towards the commercial aviation market’s maintenance and engineering needs as the industry’s average fleet sizes continue to increase.
The company’s IFS Maintenix Fleet Planner and IFS Maintenix Line Planner are two Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that it says are designed to help operators of all sizes boost the efficiency of their long-range and line maintenance planning, make the most effective use of available maintenance resources, and drive greater aircraft operational availability.
Key to an operator’s success is delivering the best maintenance plans that align closely with operational performance objectives while adhering to critical safety requirements, said IFS.
Maintenix Fleet Planner, already available, is designed to help generate more effective long-range plans for heavy maintenance activities and reduce the manual effort of keeping them up-to-date. It can quickly and automatically generate simple or complex fleet maintenance plans and gives users the ability to compare plans against key performance indicators, model ‘what if’ scenarios, and publish to production.
These efficiency gains ensure decision-makers have the time and insight to choose the best possible plan and quickly react to schedule changes.
As part of an early adopter programme, Maintenix Fleet Planner was selected by a large North American airline that operates a mixed fleet of widebody, narrow-body and regional jets. The system has been subjected to real-world use and has demonstrated an ability to enable improvements in aircraft availability, check yield, and hangar utilisation, according to IFS.
The Line Planner solution, meanwhile, enables planners to efficiently create, maintain and communicate an executable line maintenance plan. The solution, which will be generally available in the third quarter of this year, helps drive greater efficiencies by focusing attention on high priority items and identifying the cause of maintenance issues, such as lack of parts, labour or special tools.
The solution was co-developed in partnership with LATAM Airlines, which has a fleet of over 300 aircraft, with maintenance facilities spread throughout South and Central America. As IFS’ partner in creating and proving the value of this solution, LATAM is live today and seeing the benefits from its use of IFS Maintenix Line Planner.
“The sheer speed and scale of how LATAM Airlines works required a solution that could be quickly implemented without any disruption to our business while at the same time bringing substantial efficiencies to our planning process,” said Sebastian Acuto, vice-president of maintenance and engineering at the airline. “IFS Maintenix Line Planner not only saves time for our planners and improves collaboration, it also creates better plans with improved yield and operational flexibility.”
Scott Helmer, SVP, Aviation and Defence at IFS, added, “Growing fleets, more routes and new, complex aircraft have increased the pressure on airlines to reduce maintenance costs, maximise resource allocation and boost aircraft availability. The maintenance plan is the foundation for this, as all downstream success – faster aircraft turnaround times, maintaining fleet airworthiness and keeping maintenance and materials costs in check – is dependent on having solid but flexible plans in place.