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Everything MRO: Putting Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul on Blast

By: Michelle Ogden

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What is MRO in aviation?

Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) in aviation is the repair, service, or inspection of an aircraft or aircraft component. It is essentially all of the maintenance activities that take place to ensure safety and airworthiness of all aircrafts by international standards.

Here's where we're going if you want to jump ahead:

The MRO Forecast: Clear Skies Ahead

As the end-of-year reports roll in, we can definitely say the aviation industry can expect clear and sunny skies moving forward. IATA reports annual passenger numbers are to surpass 4.3 billion by the end of 2018 and by next year the average world citizen is likely to travel once every 21 months.

That's a lot of people claiming air miles this year. Whether it be for work or leisure more people are finding themselves scuffling through crowded terminals and maxed out cabin isles.

"The global commercial aircraft market, valued at just over US$191 billion in 2018, is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 2.9% to be valued at around US$255 billion by 2028. The cumulative market for global expenditure on commercial aircraft is valued at US$2.3 trillion over the forecast period."

— The Global Commercial Aircraft Market 2018-2028

As value goes up in the aviation market, supporting operations such as the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) market will stand to gain more business, while also facing greater challenges to meet relentless demands. The upsurge in travel requires more aircraft usage and that, in turn, ignites the overwhelming demand for industry services.

Key factors such as a rising demand for air travel, increase in digitalization, and upgradation of the legacy Management Information System (MIS) to digital MRO software all influence growth within the MRO software market.

Let's take a look at the climate of MRO in aviation today, and how key-market technologies are driving growth in the aviation maintenance software market.

Aircraft parts creating a complete image of an airplane

Understand Where MRO's Been, to Conquer Where It's Going

First, let's journey back to when MRO came about.

Aircraft maintenance is imperative to keeping up product availability, reliability, and quality. Airline operators depend on MRO to ensure safety and compliance with Airworthiness Directives.

The MRO market became a viable business in aviation because Airframe Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) would mainly focus on development and production, and not the aftermarket. This left a lot of airlines to partially or fully outsource MRO services from repair shops and system suppliers.

With the aviation industry's booming growth MRO operators and airlines require software that will optimize productivity and keep operations up with demand. MRO software manages the maintenance process and offers solutions to improve efficiency and enhance the end-user experience.

Stakeholders are finally realizing the integral role MRO plays in driving productivity and are investing big time.

"The MRO software market in aviation is estimated at USD 4.08 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 4.93 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.85% from 2017 to 2022."

— MarketsandMarkets

Digitalization of MRO activities, Upgradation of the legacy MIS to digital MRO, and the adoption of MRO systems are all contributing to the growth in MRO Software to achieve maximum optimization.

New technology is also being leveraged to improve the air travel experience.

The Technology Propelling MRO to New Heights

IoT has become a buzzword in the technology landscape, but what we're finding is there is value beneath the buzz, especially for aviation. IoT maximizes efficiency across the industry, improving proficiency, operational efficiency, and profitability.

IoT is being utilized to augment aviation with innovative technology. Big data and IoT-enabled sensors are helping improve and streamline Condition-based Maintenance (CBM). The data analytics being collected provide insight to enhance operations and reduce maintenance delays. That insight allows for predictive maintenance techniques which identify repairs before visible indications appear.

Extensions of IoT are expected to transform MRO software in a few different ways. Below we've explored some of the other gaming-changing advancements set to roll out in the aviation industry.

Artificial Intelligence: As we continue to discover new ways to leverage AI, more inventions are being created to optimize productivity. An autopilot system can assist the pilot control the plane and over time learn from data to make decisions during flight.

Wearables: Another by-product of IoT are wearables and robotics. Wearables and robotics are providing innovative maintenance options to assist with timely repairs and facilitate connectivity.

Rolls Royce is developing a tiny "bug-like" robot that can improve aircraft maintenance. The robot will speed up routine maintenance checks and eliminate the need to remove the aircraft engine for service.

Augmented Reality: AR technology is also being used in the MRO Industry to bridge the gap in the shortage of available technicians. Remote guidance is connecting onsite operators to licensed technical experts. This usage of AR has "revolutionized knowledge sharing." With all the expected growth around the aviation industry, the global aircraft fleet count is expected to increase to 37,978 from 26,307 by 2028, with an additional 11,000 aircrafts being built more maintenance technicians will definitely be required.

Laptop displaying 3D image of an aircraft model that is on the mouse pad.

The Hidden Secret to Sustainable MRO: Custom-Build

MRO software is the brain behind the entire MRO process. It ensures the safety of passengers and streamlines compliance along with maintenance procedures. With a considerable amount of production depending on the system, many airlines are looking to upgrade or purchase MRO software for the first time.

But what should you be looking for in a reliable MRO software?

When searching for MRO software organizations should consider a system that offers configurability allowing a "permanent upgrade path" and custom features to meet your specific needs.

Scale and magnitude are also factors organizations should consider when purchasing MRO software. The software you chose should minimize time and effort so you can focus on improving services to your end user – the customer.

Lastly, your MRO software should offer end-to-end solutions, from maintenance to enhancing the customer experience while flying. Thus simplifying back-end production to sustain the rise in demand for travel in the forecasted years to come.

Chetu offers custom MRO software development to streamline MRO processes such as compliance procedures, maintenance, safety, and procedures that increase maintenance productivity. Click here to learn more about our custom MRO software services.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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