Data mining for MRO process optimization

1 oktober 2016
30 september 2018

In order to stay competitive and respond to the increasing demand for steady and predictable aircraft turnaround times, process optimization has been identified by Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) SMEs in the aviation industry as their key element for innovation. Indeed, MRO SMEs have always been looking for options to organize their work as efficient as possible, which often resulted in applying lean business organization solutions. However, their aircraft maintenance processes stay characterized by unpredictable process times and material requirements. Lean business methodologies are unable to change this fact. This problem is often compensated by large buffers in terms of time, personnel and parts, leading to a relatively expensive and inefficient process.
To tackle this problem of unpredictability, MRO SMEs want to explore the possibilities of data mining: the exploration and analysis of large quantities of their own historical maintenance data, with the meaning of discovering useful knowledge from seemingly unrelated data. Ideally, it will help predict failures in the maintenance process and thus better anticipate repair times and material requirements. With this, MRO SMEs face two challenges. First, the data they have available is often fragmented and non-transparent, while standardized data availability is a basic requirement for successful data analysis. Second, it is difficult to find meaningful patterns within these data sets because no operative system for data mining exists in the industry.
This RAAK MKB project is initiated by the Aviation Academy of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdan, hereinafter: HvA), in direct cooperation with the industry, to help MRO SMEs improve their maintenance process. Its main aim is to develop new knowledge of - and a method for - data mining. To do so, the current state of data presence within MRO SMEs is explored, mapped, categorized, cleaned and prepared. This will result in readable data sets that have predictive value for key elements of the maintenance process. Secondly, analysis principles are developed to interpret this data. These principles are translated into an easy-to-use data mining (IT)tool, helping MRO SMEs to predict their maintenance requirements in terms of costs and time, allowing them to adapt their maintenance process accordingly. In several case studies these products are tested and further improved.


Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Robert de Boer
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Dymph van Outersterp
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Telefoon: 020-5953328