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Maintenance

e-logs not trees

The switch from paper documentation to electronic records is gathering pace in the MRO industry, as Mario Pierobon discovers
 

In recent years, the electronic flight bag (EFB) has been one of the most sought after technological upgrades in the flight operations domain. Tablet computers are increasingly replacing printed manuals on board commercial aeroplanes and soon the heavy flight bags will be a memory of the past. Albeit at a slower pace, the application of electronic media is also developing a certain critical mass in the aircraft maintenance environment.

Firstly, it is important to determine what it is being referred to with electronic media and paperless environments. The concept can be broken down into three main areas: access to the technical documentation needed to carry out maintenance (such as Airbusworld and MyBoeingFleet), the ability to work with a truly paperless work package (such as with e-signatures), as well as the generation of electronic aircraft records. In order to be truly paperless, all of these things need to be in place. “Electronic documentation and paperless operations are key factors for consistent and transparent documentation, cost-efficient maintenance, and operations, as well as flexibility,” says Rainer Sebus, Director of the Paperless Maintenance Programme at Lufthansa Technik.

Aircraft maintenance organisations generally appreciate the availability of electronic documentation for accomplishing maintenance tasks but there are differences as to the extent they are using such solutions. “Generally access to technical documentation is accepted as being available electronically, although many MROs subsequently print the information as they like their engineers to have the work instructions at hand. Giving engineers tablets is one way to overcome this but these are costly and not necessarily compatible with the maintenance environment,” says Lee Burgess, Head of Engineering at Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL). “My view is that the industry should look to high end car manufacturers and emulate how Lufthansa Technik says introducing digital processes needs to be carefully communicated and training must be delivered to allow all mechanics to understand and accept the new system (photo: Lufthansa Technik) e-logs not trees The switch from paper documentation to electronic records is gathering pace in the MRO industry, as Mario Pierobon discovers March 2018 − www.mromanagement.com MRO Management 37 they maintain vehicles. When we look at recording the work done on work packages the majority of MROs still do this on paper, largely because the owners of the aircraft want dirty finger print records. The irony is that the work package is printed on paper, completed on paper, and then scanned and sent for storage. Access to the maintenance records can then be done electronically with platforms such as Flydocs or Aerdata’s STREAM.”

At aircraft maintenance organisation Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) the use of electronic documentation is positively regarded by its users. “The documentation can be used on the spot, without going to the back-office. If necessary, relevant detailed information can be obtained. Given the structure of the maintenance documentation, most manufacturers encourage the use of electronic media to access the documentation, by means of, for example, hyperlinking, simulation and zoom-in. This approach can also increase the productivity in case of material ordering,” says Hans Lucas, Unit Leader Cabin & Support at AFI KLM E&M. >>

 


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