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Air France-KLM technical arm eyes growth for predictive IT tool

Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance sees scope for wider application of its predictive maintenance software, originally developed to tackle specific issues in its parent group's fleet.

The MRO provider made a deliberate choice to concentrate on analysing technical data from specific components and systems, rather than assessing a broad range of aircraft onboard data, AFI KLM E&M vice-president digital Jacques-Olivier Guichard tells FlightGlobal.

Speaking at the MRO Europe convention on 17 October, Guichard argued that this approach enabled the MRO provider to examine the "full depth of data" for particular equipment and "really follow a system to the end".

Technical issues with the fuel systems on Air France's Airbus A380s were among the first issues to be analysed with AFI KLM E&M's Prognos software, as they were known to cause disruptions to the airline's operations.

Predictive maintenance applications were developed for a total of five systems on the A380, including landing-gear components and the supplemental cooling system.

Meanwhile, the MRO provider has developed additional applications for landing gear and pneumatic components on A320s and A330s, and for other equipment on Boeing 787s.

In order to prove the concept on legacy aircraft, AFI KLM E&M developed a predictive maintenance tool for the 747 before Air France retired that type in early 2016.

As a result of these projects, AFI KLM E&M's digital engineering team has matured a predictive algorithm that – in its basic form – can be reused and adapted for different systems on different aircraft, says Guichard.

The team is in the process of finalising applications for the A350. Those services will begin in November, for an external operator.

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