The sky’s the limit for airport maintenance

IBM Maximo helps King Khalid International Airport improve asset insights by 50%

By | 3 minute read | June 7, 2021

Airplane at the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA)

The day-to-day airside and landside operations at King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, are complex — to say the least.  With more than 50,000 individual assets, multiple siloed maintenance and inventory systems, workflows dating back to 1980, and more than a dozen contractors working onsite, the airport’s manual processes led to costly and frustrating communications challenges—and issues often left unresolved.

Hosting regional and international passenger and cargo services for more than 45 airlines and flying more than 26 million passengers, the airport needed a 30,000-foot view of the asset management picture so they could plan for the future

The Riyadh Airports Company (RAC) wanted a digital transformation that turned asset maintenance from an expense to an investment.  To succeed in turning KKIA into an IoT-enabled gateway to Saudi Arabia, RAC knew they needed a platform that could provide efficiency, full control, real-time visibility, and a solid plan for the smart airport of the future.

A new approach to asset management for civil infrastructure

Predicting the impacts on civil infrastructure over decades is challenging — and 45% of all maintenance efforts are ineffective. As the teams at KKIA understood all too well, assets are constantly moving and exposed to nonstop usage as well as ever-changing conditions. Because materials react differently to different stimulus over time, the condition of an asset today will not reflect the condition in a month, a year, or ten years from now.

RAC found that the IBM Maximo suite of products had the capabilities to analyze all of the airport’s systems data — and the data from every single asset at KKIA, ranging from HVAC systems to escalators. Maximo could help them better understand the risks to assets today and in the future. “Maximo was more than a tool,” says Rami Karaki, from eSolutions, an IBM Business Partner that helped shepherd RAC through implementation and training. “It helped us understand RAC’s vision and work together with them on a clear roadmap toward a smart data-driven airport. It helped in reshaping the maintenance strategy and regimen.”

Productivity takes off smoothly

After implementing the new system two months faster than planned — which included replacing outdated legacy systems with Maximo and IBM Cognos Analytics solutions, introducing a mobile application to take the place of maintenance-related emails, and establishing service-level agreements (SLAs) with all contractors — the team trained more than 400 users in just three weeks.

But those numbers only tell part of the story.  Further assessment shows that inspector productivity increased 40%, the new system eliminated more than 80% of maintenance paperwork, and there has been a 50% improvement in insights through Maximo and Cognos Analytics real-time dashboards used by all contractors.

Putting asset data to work

KKIA is now able to optimize asset health and prevent unplanned downtime while also extending the useful life of their assets through a strategy that prioritizes repairs and replacements based on predefined criteria.

Muhammed Al-Qurashi, Maintenance Operations Center Manager and System Product Manager, Riyadh Airports Company, says “For an asset-intensive organization such as RAC, creating a healthy and solid preventative maintenance plan in an EAM system is crucial to track and analyze asset history and condition, which will help the management in their decisions. Our target now is to work on an entire ecosystem to establish a predictive maintenance program,” he says.

By implementing predictive maintenance, KIAA will be able to go beyond time-scheduled maintenance to condition-based action.  This allows them to predict the likelihood of future failures by applying machine learning and data analytics to reduce asset failures and their costs. The results of predictive maintenance speak for themselves:

  • Total spend on preventative maintenance can be reduced by up to 50%
  • Total preventative maintenance hours can be reduced by 50%-70%
  • Efficiency of repairs can be improved up to 50%3

“You should think broadly, keeping your vision in mind. And you should know what Maximo technology can do for that vision,” says Al-Qurashi.

The decision to use IBM Maximo and IBM Cognos solutions and the implementation was a true team effort and included, Muhammed Al-Qurashi, Rami Karaki, and also Hamad Al-Rasheed, General Manager of Maintenance Division, Riyadh Airports Company and Sultan Al-Nakouzi, Enterprise Asset Management Consultant and Project Manager, Morganti KSA, Riyadh Airports Company FM Consultant.

Read more about IBM Maximo at King Khalid International Airport.

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