Getting from my house to JFK can really be a traffic nightmare. So last month when I finally boarded the plane, stowed my carry-on, turned off the cell, and buckled my seatbelt, I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. That is when the pilot announced that a part needed to be replaced in the cockpit and the part was not available at JFK and the plan was to wait for it to be delivered by another inbound aircraft. About the only thing I could be grateful for, at that moment, was the Sudoko book my wife just gave me.
In the Aerospace and Defense industry, the management of the 'aircraft lifecycle' presents a unique challenge to aircraft operators and maintenance organizations as aircraft configurations are complex and dynamic.
We are working to address this challenge (and spend less time waiting on airplanes for maintenance). This solution is based on a Service Oriented Architecture which enables loosely coupled business services that are provided in an interoperable and technology agnostic manner. The architecture focuses on bringing all key components together to eliminate “silos” of data and work processes.
To connect all these services together, we have created a group of Connectivity Services that are SOA based to allow collaboration between enterprise asset management products (like IBM Tivoli Maximo 6.2) and Partner products (such as SAP.) We are also adding Tivoli management tools to this architecture like: ITCAM(Tivoli Composite (SOA) Application Manager),and TAM (Tivoli Access Manager.)
What does this all this mean to the airlines and to their customers? Let me give you an example. Using process modeling and SOA based execution capabilities to automate the repair process, an aircraft sitting at the gate will be allowed to continue on its next leg rather than being pulled out of service to make the repair. This solution should result in a two thirds reduction in the time it takes to do the repair which translates into big cost savings for the airlines industry and fewer delays for passengers (like you and I.;)