By Bob Trebilcock

By Bob Trebilcock
Right Part, Right Time, Right Places
Next-gen aircraft have airlines thinking about new strategies for inventory availability.
Optimal Provisioning For Regionals
With bankruptcies, rising operating costs and changing operational conditions, regional airlines are under tremendous pressure to control their costs.
Supply Chain Priorities 

For years, the supply chain was looked upon as a necessary evil. Manufacturing, warehousing and transportation were part of the cost of doing business, not what drove a company forward.

That is no longer the case. Every organization in every industry, including the aviation aftermarket, is challenged to do whatever it is they do better, faster and cheaper. Supply chains are no longer just overhead—the best companies view them as a competitive advantage.

Electronic Documentation ROI 

Talk to airlines, OEMs, distributors and MROs about Spec 2000, the industry's communications backbone, and you are likely to hear that the system has been in place for years.

“We have Chapter 3 for exchanging purchase orders installed in our IT system and it's managed very well,” says Adrien Guillame, a project manager for logistics services with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance.

Mobile MRO 

What if an aircraft engine had a Facebook page? And what if that engine could update its status from the time it arrives in the overhaul shop until it ships to a customer? What if it could communicate how it's performing while it is in flight and let technicians know what needs to be done as it is coming in for a check?

MRO’s Tipping Point 

For the past five years, Boeing and Fujitsu have been working together to develop an aircraft maintenance solution that incorporates radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and contact memory buttons (CMBs) with an integrated suite of software applications. Boeing will begin rolling out the system, known as automated identification technology (AIT), in the spring.

Are You Ready for Collaboration? 

Collaboration was one of the highest-flying concepts during the Internet boom. The idea was simple: the best companies would seamlessly connect with their customers and suppliers so that information was shared and transparent. Companies that failed to collaborate were doomed. The hype was best illustrated by an ad from a then-famous supply chain software firm with the headline “Collaborate or Die.”

Efficient Inventory Management 

Whether you’re talking about stocking produce on a grocery store shelf, delivering subassemblies to an automotive line or stocking parts for an MRO facility, inventory management comes down to four Rs: The right part at the right place at the right time and at the right price. In the MRO business, you can add two more Rs—a part in the right condition and the right configuration.

MRO by the Piece 

As any MRO knows, controlling labor costs is one of the keys to remaining competitive, especially as the industry expands globally to low-wage countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.Cost control was central to Roger Porter’s strategy when he took over the Aeroframe repair facility in Lake Charles, La., from EADS Aeroframe Services in July 2005. “EADS was focused on increasing Airbus maintenance support in the Americas,” says Porter.

Software on Demand 

What are two of the biggest hurdles to the wider adoption of supply chain software tools in the MRO industry? If you said: the big upfront licensing fees and the long, disruptive implementation times, then you may want to consider an on-demand, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), solution for some of your software needs.

Visibility from End to End 

During the Internet boom, retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers began talking about a new kind of demand-driven supply chain. Rather than build product based on historical forecasts, load up a warehouse and then push it out to the marketplace, savvy supply chain managers would capture real-time demand from point of sale systems and cash registers and use the emerging supply chain planning and management tools to make things according to demand. Sell one, make one.

Performance-based logistics (PBL) and lean maintenance are transforming the MRO business. At the same time, these new maintenance and business strategies have the potential to bring MRO supply chains in line with other industries that rely on supply chain technologies for coordination with suppliers as well as extensive parts tracking and record-keeping requirements, like automotive manufacturing and the pharmaceutical industries.

Taking the Fat Out of MRO 

When planning began for a new 46,200-sq.-meter MRO facility at the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul, myTECHNIC’s board of directors determined that Lean principles would guide the project.

“Lean is often applied retroactively to a facility as a method for change,” said Remzi Saltoglu, myTECHNIC’s director of continuous improvement. “But one of our investors had read an article about Lean initiatives, and we decided to infuse Lean into every aspect of the design and layout of the facility.”

Jan 30, 2015

Iraqi Airways 767 at Frankfurt Hahn Airport

Airbus A330 and A340 operators have until Feb. 6 to...More
Jan 30, 2015

Passenger, Çargo Middle East Growth Rate #MROME

The Middle East region is forecast to have the highest RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) growth rate, but another region outpaces in cargo traffic over the period....More
Jan 29, 2015

Supersonic Scoop (1947) 2

Aviation Week scored one of the biggest aerospace scoops of the 20th century when on December 22, 1947, it revealed that the fabled sound barrier had been broken by U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager in the Bell XS-1....More
Jan 26, 2015

New Photos: Chilled Lightning 5

F-35 begins extreme climate testing....More
Jan 26, 2015

Boeing 777 -- Unveiling A Design Classic (1990) 4

No matter how you gauge the success of Boeing’s 777, whether in terms of sales, profitability, safety, versatility, longevity or derivatives, few can argue the remarkable impact the twinjet has made on the industry since entering service almost 20 years ago....More
Jan 23, 2015

When Lockheed Martin Won The JSF Award (2001) 18

During its nearly 100 years of coverage, Aviation Week & Space Technology has covered many controversial programs. Perhaps none has been as big in terms of sheer value and global reach as the nine-nation, stealthy F-35 fighter project....More
Jan 22, 2015

10 Things To Watch In The 2016 Budget Request

Six years into his presidency, President Barack Obama is planning to finally submit his budget request to Congress on time—meaning the week of Feb. 2 this year....More
Jan 21, 2015

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Finds Icy Ceres Cratered 2

"We know so much about the solar system and yet so little about dwarf planet Ceres," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's mission manager. "Now, Dawn is ready to change that."...More

More blogs

NEW: Sign up to Aviation Week eBulletin

Daily analysis on technology advances impacting the global aviation, aerospace & defense industries.

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×