Cabin Maintenance: Barfield to Distribute AirInt' App
Barfield, Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) US subsidiary, makes plans to distribute AirInt' Software, a tablet-based mobile app that is using the latest technology to revolutionize cabin maintenance management. Developed by start-up AirInt' Services and industrialized with AFI KLM E&M through its "MRO Lab" innovation platform, the app is already serving its purpose of saving time and optimizing processes for a wide range of aircraft fleet.
The app is specifically designed to meet the demands of any aircraft. It comes embedded with two innovative tools: a mobile app that allows technicians to inspect, collect and report data in three simple clicks and a web reporting solution that is synched to the app allowing managers to better monitor and manage data received from technicians during line maintenance. According to Lew Wingate, Barfield vice president for GSTE and Distribution, the software is currently being implemented in Paris and Amsterdam for the cabin interior at AFI KLM E&M and, given its success, "We at Barfield will be offering it to our partner airlines in the Americas."
One of the main features of the AirInt' app is that each spare part of a technical document is listed according to its position in the aircraft, ensuring operational processes are simplified, considerably reducing inspection time, according to AirInt' founders, Laurent Breard and Sébastien Requillart: "For a fleet of Boeing 777s, using AirInt' saves up to 50% of inspection time. This means substantial financial savings for airlines in a highly competitive environment."
Equipped with a tablet loaded with the app, technicians can access a 3D plan of the cabin on which they can flag any defective components during an inspection, which in turn automatically displays each part number, avoiding the need to go through thousands of pages of the aircraft technical manual. By clicking on the component, a requisition is immediately transmitted to the stores.
"Digitalization minimizes part number input errors and sharply decreases the costs involved in issuing and returning parts to the store," says AFI KLM E&M Innovation director, James Kornberg. "Defects are identified faster and repaired before the aircraft departs again. The solution is thus a major driver for improving cabin quality and, ultimately, passenger satisfaction."
On the strength of its data-engineering functions, the app improves activity management in terms of traceability, inventory management and identification of root causes. The web portal provides monitoring of cabin condition, a complete history of the defects flagged and access to customizable indicators. Maintenance is monitored and corrective action can be carried out before impaired parts fail during aircraft operation.
"The addition of our respective knowledge results in an effective and powerful tool," says Kornberg. "It was a real pleasure to work with start-up AirInt' at The MRO Lab, and we will help them to market this product worldwide."
"The marketing agreement signed with Barfield will help us boost our international visibility, at the same time as we are benefiting from the reach and expertise of AFI KLM E&M, a world's major MRO operator," says Requillart.