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Big Data Analytics is Set to Redefine the Future for Aerospace

Big Data Analytics is Set to Redefine the Future for Aerospace

Big data is a buzz word now for the IT industry and the way things have shaped in recent years, the future seems to be very exciting for the data driven industry. The very fabric of how we can use technology to shape and influence our decisions are expected to change. With sensors occupying lots of space in our day-to-day activities and more and more people connected to internet, there is lot of accumulation of data. One should use the data to trace not only the preferences but to analyze and predict things for the company. In a way, the big data analytics is going to be the thing of future for guiding our decisions as well as to replicate our successes, preferences and choices.

Data Analytics has been an integral part for aerospace industry since long and the industry is not new to it. Airplanes have numerous sensors embedded within its systems to collect data like altitude, speed, stability and other details while on the flight and to assess the health of various systems for the maintenance work while on ground.

When we talk of big data, we normally refer to three distinguishing characteristics; high volume, high velocity, data from multiple sources in different forms. The combinations of all these characteristics make it difficult to analyze and take decisions in real-time. One of the biggest opportunities for the aerospace market lies in the Aftermarket function. Traditionally, it has been reactive practice to analyze and replace parts of the plane for repair purposes. But with Big Data analytics in aerospace industry, one needs to opt for the proactive approach. With the help of sensors, health data of various systems could be gathered and analyzed to predict and trigger the replacement, reducing both time and cost for the OEMs and also increasing life of the overall systems. Also the findings could help improve the new design by accommodating research on the drawbacks found in the previous system. The need for a regular check-up after every flight to figure if there is wear and tear of the aircraft can be cut down to save time and money. For example, structural health monitoring is gaining lot of importance and recent researches institutes have indicated increasing problems to improve serviceability by lowering inventory options and cutting down on frequency of maintenance. The changing trend is shift of aftermarket from product-based to service based model.

The fuel monitoring space and procurement optimization is another area where analytics will help. One can even monitor effects of different terrain to see how desert, ocean, cold, heat and other environmental condition affect the performance and the data could be used to enhance and optimize the performance based on different conditions. The inflight entertainment space is looking for big data analytics to enhance customer satisfaction like customized playlists based on preferences during the flight. Internet, games, videos and other applications also can be customized using the same analysis.

According to Centre for Aviation (CAPA); “The world’s aviation sector ended 2013 with another record backlog for aircraft orders, as the highest ever number of annual orders added to what was already a record backlog. The number of outstanding orders is equivalent to almost half of the fleet in service.”

Looking at the demand of the aircrafts, there is a requirement to ramp-up the aircraft production through dynamic production capabilities and decision support using big data. For example, Big data can help

Manufacturing and assembly

  • Predict production equipment health and lifecycle and take designing maintenance plan
  • Preparing next best case scenario in case of quality anomalies or failures in real time
  • Agile production plan to optimize the schedule dependencies
  • Root cause analysis in case of failure
  • Demand planning  optimization

Product lifecycle

  • Better understanding and management of supplier quality
  • Improved product quality and yield
  • Improved customer service and satisfaction
  • Optimize raw materials, semi-finished and finished material usage
  • Warranty analytics
  • Monetizing service through advanced analytics

Big data analytics is going to reshape the complete ecosystem of aerospace by bringing intelligence to the system. The tradition design-make and sell model for OEMs need to be changed to support-learn and enrich model for their clients.  The early movers and adaptors will define the ecosystem and will have an edge over the others in the way the industry will function in future.

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