ILIAS SOLUTIONS AND TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DENMARK (DTU) PRAGMATIC AND SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TOWARDS PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) together with ILIAS Solutions have published their first scientific article.

The mission of ILIAS Solutions is to enable mission driven logistics by preparing the next best action. In order to enhance predictability, ILIAS has developed a unique holistic approach towards condition based maintenance.

To make this approach work ILIAS understands it needs to be pragmatic. Pragmatic in a sense that decision makers understand why and what they need to decide when. And at the same time scientifically based to give the decision makers the trust they have a solid base for their decision.

The three major pillars of this approach are:

  • Educating and warning the user
  • Enhancing the condition and even better the use of an asset to be the trigger for maintenance
  • Create an objective base for Performance Based Contracting

ILIAS has developed together with the DTU a method to create in a relatively short time a model-based algorithm to answer to a need of a customer.

The starting points are:

  1. Understanding the need of the customer and what the exact question is
  2. Creating a scientific (electro) mechanical model as a basis for prediction
  3. Enhance the model with Machine Learning to fill in the blanks and speed up the results

This all based on one basic set of data generated by holistic ILIAS Smart Sensors in combination with vehicle born CAN Bus data. Applying federated learning with the model developed with DTU, incorporating machine learning at the right levels, ILIAS is able to create algorithms within the ILIAS I-HUMS system. This algorithm can be embedded (over-the-air) in the ILIAS Smart Sensor to inform the driver (near real time).

DTU and ILIAS are proud to have achieved a major milestone in publishing the first model in Elsevier’s Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing (MSSP) magazine. The article describes a model for Mass Estimation, enabling the military to prevent overloading. This will reduce cost and enhance availability of the fleet by warning the driver. Colonel De Varé, from Belgian Defense, shares these valuable experiences on the most recent development for the Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring System for the FOX vehicles.

TOTAL ASSET VISIBILITY WITH ILIAS

ILIAS Solutions is developing an Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring System.

Total Asset Visibility is an essential concept in every military organization. It provides users with the timely and accurate information on the location, movement, status and identity of units, equipment, materiel and supplies. It delivers capability to act upon that information to improve overall performance and take the next best action in the logistic practices.

The Belgian Defense acknowledged this approach and is ready to mature this overarching solution. The most recent development is for the Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring System for the FOX vehicles. Colonel De Varé shares his valuable experiences.

For the last five years, Colonel Filip De Varé has held a pretty important role in the Belgian armed forces.

“Until the end of last year, I was the Director of Land Systems,” he says. “I was in charge of all rolling equipment, including ammunition. It was very, very broad. It went from, let’s say, bicycles to combat vehicles.”

Then in January of 2021, his area of responsibility quadrupled. “Now I’m director of all weapons systems,” he explains. “So, now I also have the aeronautical systems, naval systems, and support systems. It’s approaching 10,000 assets.”

One thing that has stayed constant, and made his transition as seamless as possible, is his reliance on ILIAS Solutions software. It is a software suite that provides Total Asset Visibility.

“You can trace everything that has been done with an asset. For example, if you have to know the number of hours an aircraft engine has turned, you have that at your fingertips.”

It is not just engine hours. It also tracks wear and tear on the landing gear, the age of the batteries, and the weaponreadiness. All the information is held in one place so each person using it: the maintenance crew, the weapons team, or transportation personnel, can find what they need.

“You create your own view of the data,” De Varé says. “That’s total visibility. You can even go back in time to see what has happened on a particular asset.”

The Belgian forces aren’t the only force seeking Total Asset Visibility. It is an essential concept in every military organization.

If you want to fly, you have to make sure that everything’s in place,” says Harry Corstens, Business Development Manager at ILIAS Solutions. “If you do that right, you can maximize your flying hours. That is what ILIAS is doing.”

So for ILIAS Solutions Total Asset Visibility is all about mission readiness.

“The mission is everything,” says Corstens. “So, in order to prepare for a mission with a certain fleet of vehicles or airplanes, you need to be aware of ‘What do I need to do in order to be ready with the right vehicles and the right planes at the right time in order that I can fulfil my mission?’”

Sometimes that is as simple as having the right spare parts on hand. Missing a small detail like that can undermine an entire operation.

“If you need spare parts now, you should have ordered them a half year ago. So, if you do not plan in advance, and if you don’t have insight on your work order, if you don’t know what kind of quality of people you need, what kind of spare parts you need, then you’re always too late. And when you’re too late, then you will panic. And when you panic, you pay a lot of money for maybe not getting anything.”

The odds of that scenario playing out multiply exponentially when you are, for example, taking a squadron of F-16’s to the Middle East. That’s exactly the type of operation the Belgium Air Component is undertaking right now. The unit is operating out of Jordan, and to make the mission a success, they need to send more than just planes and pilots.

“We send what we call ‘fly-away kits’ with tooling, spare parts, et cetera,” says De Varé. “We also need to deploy ground support equipment, and airfield equipment. All that is managed in ILIAS.”

On the surface, ILIAS software is designed to organize equipment, but it’s not. It actually organizes people. A mission such as the deployment in Jordan involves a lot of people. Each of them knows a fragment of the big picture, but none of them know everything.

“A lot of people are talking and the thing they are talking about should represent the same information,” according to Corstens. “Everyone has their truth, but it’s not always the same as everyone else’s view of things. And if they interpret a certain element of information, and someone else looking at that same information interprets it differently, then it gets a little bit fuzzy.”

“ILIAS provides you with one truth. So at the moment you have to make a decision, everyone is basing the decision from the same sheet of paper.”

That works perfectly in theory, but as anyone who works with data knows, your end result is only as good as the quality of the raw information you allow into the system. No software can help you make good decisions, if you are feeding it with bad data to begin with.

That’s why acquiring great data has moved to the top of ILIAS’ priority list.

“To be honest, more often than not, humans are not creating valid data. So, we are trying to get the human out of the loop,” says Corstens.

That means using barcode scanning, or when possible, sensors. Barcodes are easy to use. Anyone handling a package of parts, fuel, or even an entire plane, can just scan the barcode and the entire system knows where it is. The downside is you don’t know what has happened to it until the next time it gets scanned. That might be hours, days or months.

“But if you track and trace it with a sensor, you can know where it is in real time,” Corstens explains. “Sometimes it’s not necessary to have that granularity and sometimes it is.”

For example, consider ground support equipment such as a hydraulic power pack. That needs to be close to the plane at the exact time you want to take off. With a barcode system, you don’t know exactly where it is or if it’s serviceable, but a sensor-based system will provide those answers instantly.

“That’s the goal of what we’re doing now with total asset visibility,” says Corstens. “To give the user the information when they need it, so they can act. ILIAS provides you with the next best action.”

“The thing is, we are a software company,” Corstens explains. “We have embedded a lot of knowledge and best practices in our software, and we deliver these capabilities, via training and implementation, to the customer. But in the end, it’s the customer that needs to incorporate this in their daily job. Value is generated via adoption.”

That’s the thinking behind an exciting product called “Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring System” (I–HUMS® ). The technical knowledge comes from the ILIAS NVO team from Denmark working closely with the Danish Technical University, but the application is a need brought forward by the users, specifically, Filip De Varé and the Belgium forces.

“It’s a development program,” he explains. “We started it in late 2017 on our new jeeps for the special operations forces.”

The goal is to monitor the usage of those assets and evaluate the effectiveness of the current maintenance protocols.

“It’s the ILIAS SmartSensor, a black box we are installing on combat vehicles that provides us with a clear view on the health of the system. For example, on a combat vehicle, after 2,500 kilometers, you have to change the oil. Is that necessary?” asks De Varé. “We’re following what has been prescribed by the manufacturer. But after a couple of years of monitoring we’ve discovered that the frequency was too high, and we’ve been changing the oil too often. Now, with the help of the I–HUMS® we’re trying to make predictions on when to execute that.”

The ILIAS SmartSensor

It wasn’t just the oil changes they were monitoring. The Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring System also told them they were being overloaded. “People don’t fill a vehicle at the maximum weight, they use the maximum available volume,” says De Varé.

Once they were made aware of this overload situation, it was easily corrected. And that can save a lot of money.

“When we talk to people about health and usage monitoring,” says Corstens, “they’ll ask us, what’s the business case? It’s not just about collecting information, it’s being able to act on it. Nine out of ten people I speak with embrace the idea that if you know more, you can predict better, and that can make your whole system more efficient.”

Efficiency is essential for someone like De Varé, who is starting his year off with a whole lot of new responsibilities and big plans.

“We have a plan with ILIAS over the next 10 years,” he says, “to optimize that predictive maintenance and condition-based maintenance. For me, that’s a big deal.”

COLORS OF THE WORLD

From the streets of Brussels to Athens, and even in Santiago or Sydney, we all understand the rules: Red means stop, and Green means go.  

“It’s an international standard,” says Marcelis of the colors on traffic lights around the globe.  Marcelis is a software engineer responsible for research and development with ILIAS Solutions, and since his software is used all around the world, he decided to borrow that traffic light color scheme.   “We use the red, green, yellow colors to show the state of certain assets,” he says. Red if something is in short supply, yellow means it needs investigation, and green tells the user that everything is within working parameters.

 Mio Adilman, the host of “Repeat Customer,” a podcast about customer experience, says using Red-Yellow-Green for a status reports is just a starting point.

“We know that our eyes and brains can distinguish and differentiate between about 10 million different colors,” he says. And each of those colors does certain things to us. 

Retailers have capitalized on these associations for years.

“In general, blacks and silvers are luxury products. Really bright colors are usually more affordable mass market things. If you think about McDonald’s and Walmart, those are cheap and cheerful,” he explains. “Warm browns and earthy tones are lifestyle brands, like Patagonia and those sorts of things. And anything that has a wood grain to it is seen as relaxing because it makes us feel like we’re outdoors.

That use of color can be put to work in product packaging, advertising, staff uniforms, even the color you paint the walls of your office.

“There’s a reason why when you go to a doctor’s office, it’s often very white,” Adilman says. “White can give you the sense that there is order in your environment. It has a stabilizing effect. It’s meant to project cleanliness and order, and put people’s minds at ease. 

Marcelis has to consider all that as he designs the latest generation of ILIAS’s software.  

I’m now working on a complete redesign of the user interface,” he saysWe’re doing a lot of research and it’s completely different from the existing one.  

That new iteration will rely heavily on one color: Blue.  

“Why did we choose blue? It’s the branding color of ILIAS, but it’s also a very soothing color,” Marcelis explains. “It’s very neutral. We didn’t want to be loud and aggressive.” Adilman agrees. 

“Blue projects trustworthiness,” he says. “You’ll notice that a lot of banks use blue in their logos and in their retail operations because they want to convey that sense to their clients.” 

Marcelis says he has been very intentional about how he applies it. 

“We use it to give accents to things, to really make them pop. It shows that things are interactive. Buttons are blue. If it’s the main button you are expected to press to follow the main workflow, then it will be blue, and it will really stand out. All the other buttons will be white with the blue text. So, you still know it’s interactive and it’s something you can do, but it’s optional. It’s not the main flow. 

 

Using colors to communicate is a great tool. It can convey information in a very bold and obvious manner (like the traffic lights), or the associations can be quite subtle (using blue to build trust). But you have to know your audience. 

“Colors are a language, and that language varies from culture to culture,” explains Adilman. 

“We’re working for big international defense organizations,” Marcelis adds. “So, by definition, we work with all these cultures as well.” 

That’s why he’s restricted himself to just the basics. There will be no orange, or pink, or brown in the latest iteration. As least until he can be sure that everyone seeing it reacts to those colors in the same way. 

It’s an ongoing effort,” he says. “We are always looking for better and improved interfaces.” 

Having dealt with the challenge of using color as a language, his next obstacle will be accommodating actual different languages. 

“It’s in English, in Dutch, in French, and in Spanish currently,” he says. But up next are some more challenging languages. “We’re working on incorporating special things like right to left languages because it has a huge impact on the entire interface as well. 

That is still to comebut if you stare long enough at the soothing shade of ILIAS blue, you’ll trust he’s going to figure it out.

DAVE SCOTT STARTS AT ILIAS FEDERAL SOLUTIONS

Press Release

Brussels, 29 March 2021 – Introducing H. David (Dave) Scott as CEO of ILIAS Federal Solutions Incorporated. Scott’s defense & aerospace background will be of great value bringing the ILIAS Defense Platform to the US market. Scott brings many years of experience in innovations and leadership.

Jean-Pierre Wildschut, CEO, ILIAS Solutions: “Establishing ourselves in the US is a milestone in the development of ILIAS Solutions. Growing our defense business, and military aviation in particular, requires us to be closer with our partners and customers., Our US subsidiary also allows us to tap into the expertise of local people with military backgrounds. Obviously, we need to be compliant with the local business culture, rules and regulations, and all security clearances.

 

Performance starts at the top, so we were searching for leadership to provide us with the experience to introduce ILIAS smoothly into the US Defense market, while blending seamlessly with our own business culture. We found these qualities in Dave Scott and are very happy to welcome him in the ILIAS team.”

 

Before joining ILIAS Solutions Scott was General Manager of the Defense & Aerospace Division of Barco NV.  In this capacity he had full worldwide responsibility for all business and operational activities including the profit and loss for the three business segments that made up this division: Defense C4ISR, Avionics for Civil/Military aircraft, and Air Traffic Control.

 

Dave Scott, CEO ILIAS Federal Solutions: “As a former leader in a Belgium based electronics company, I was very excited to find yet another opportunity to join a Belgian based team, ILIAS Solutions. I look forward to helping them locate and expand into the North American region which is strategic for any company operating in the worldwide defense market.”

 

Scott also held the position of President & Chief Executive Officer, Barco, Inc., with regional management responsibility in the US and Canada. In 2007, Scott was instrumental in establishing the US Company, Barco Federal Systems, LLC, which obtained a SSA from the US government for performing classified defense work. 

 

Scott co-founded the Chromatics Corporation (1976), an early pioneer in the development of high-resolution, high-performance color graphics. This included display technology used to develop color display terminals, color graphics workstations, and high performance 2D and 3D image generators. He served as Chief Architect / Designer and Vice President of Engineering for Chromatics for more than 14 years. In 1990, Barco acquired Chromatics as its first US-based acquisition, combining Chromatics with Barco’s Avionics and Rugged Product Group to form the business unit, Barco Display Systems.

 

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Following military service in the United States Air Force, Scott worked as Research Engineer in the Advanced Controls and Experimental Physics Laboratory of the Babcock and Wilcox Company (B&W) in Mount Athos, Virginia. While with B&W, Scott conducted research on the application of microcomputer technology for solving advanced monitoring and control problems in the commercial nuclear power industry. 

 

 

 

Along with Mr. Scott’s position as General Manager of Barco Defense and Aerospace, and President of Barco, Inc., Mr. Scott also served in Barco’s Corporate Governance as a Sr. VP of Barco nv and member of the Barco Core Leadership Team.

 

 
Notes to editor

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Barbara Persoons, Corporate Communication Manager, ILIAS Solutions

barbara.persoons@ilias-solutions.com

+31 (0)36 75 19 757

About ILIAS Solutions

ILIAS Solutions provides off-the-shelf commercial software exclusively focused on defense. Itencompasses over two decades of best-practices, ensuring low implementation cost, time and risk.The ILIAS defense logistics software platform empower military operations and defense industry organizations to minimize the logistics footprint while assuring mission readiness at all times.

ILIAS Solutions supports commanders in doing more with less for both military operations and missions. The platform covers the entire armed forces value chain. It aligns operations, training and missions with maintenance, supply and procurement. The ILIAS software platform allows effective execution of processes, captures key information and enables military commanders to manage their defense capability in accordance with the doctrine and within the constraints of their budgets.

ILIAS Solutions is ISO 9001 certified.

SHARING THE VISION AND PASSION FOR AN OPTIMIZED READINESS STATE OF THE HELLENIC ARMED FORCES

KLEOS and ILIAS Solutions have recently signed a partnership agreement.
By sharing knowledge and innovative solutions the team will contribute in the optimization of sustainment and fleet management.

KLEOS supports the armed forces with her Configuration & Maintenance Management System.
ILIAS Solutions is participating in the ‘F-16 Viper Upgrade program’ with her ‘Logistics Management System’.

Together we aim to become trusted business partners with the Hellenic Armed Forces by delivery of innovative solutions for an optimized readiness state of the Hellenic Defense.

ASTRATA AND ILIAS SOLUTIONS JOIN FORCES TO IMPROVE AIR FORCE READINESS.

Press Release

Next Generation Ground Support Equipment (GSE) solution will contribute to optimisation of ground-segment operations.

Eindhoven, Netherlands, 28th January 2021 – Astrata, a leading provider of location-based solutions for the connected fleet, supply chain, government and aviation sectors, and ILIAS Solutions, a company that empowers military logistics and operations with their defence software platform, have announced a partnership agreement. The partnership aims to deliver the next generation of military GSE management in support of air forces around the world.   

The partnership will deliver ground-breaking solutions for optimising GSE operations by enhancing the ILIAS Solutions’ defence software platform, as used by defence customers globally, with Astrata’s proprietary technology and systems, as used by world’s leading airlines and airports. The combined next generation GSE solution will offer full visibility of the location, availability, usage and condition of equipment, operational readiness, and capture Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) data. 

Harry Corstens, Business Development at ILIAS Solutions, said: “We are proud to announce this partnership with Astrata. By using our joint best practice commercial and defence knowledge, ILIAS Solutions enriches our Ground Support Equipment Solution. Next to achieving awareness of in- and outdoor location, we are able to monitor usage and health of the equipment, improving availability and enhancing the awareness on operational readiness. It fits ILIAS Solutions’ overall Total Asset Visibility approach, minimising the logistics footprint, therewith enhancing forces’ mission readiness.” 

The world’s leading airlines and airports rely on technology to stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs and improve their service levels. Astrata provides state-of-the art systems to manage, automate and optimise critical aspects of ground crew and passenger transportation operations in one single platform. Thanks to the partnership with ILIAS Solutions, this proven Astrata solution for commercial airports will in future also be available for defence customers. 

Harold Vermanen, Senior Director Government and Large Scale Systems at Astrata, said: “I am very proud that ILIAS Solutions and Astrata are joining forces, resulting in this next generation GSE solution for air forces around the world. This joint solution is the sum of ILIAS Solutions as used by defence customers, and Astrata’s proven GSE Solution as used by commercial airports. It enables the transformation to a more information driven organisation, operating with fewer limitations on manpower, location and time, improving air force readiness.” ILIAS Solutions develops information management solutions for the military (including, e.g., the Belgian Army, Chilean Air Force, Hellenic Air Force), enabling armed forces to manage their capabilities. The ILIAS Intelligent Health and Usage Monitoring system (I-HUMS®) enhances know-how to achieve higher levels of maintenance and logistics, and to translate this knowledge into tangible and pragmatic solutions. 

The partnership agreement was signed on 21st December 2020 by Astrata Europe’s General Manager, Cagatay Kibriscikli, and ILIAS Solution’s CEO, Jean-Pierre Wildschut during a ceremony held remotely, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

– Ends –

 

Contact: 

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About ILIAS Solutions

ILIAS Solutions provides off-the-shelf commercial software exclusively focused on defenseIt encompasses over two decades of best-practices, ensuring low implementation cost, time and risk.The ILIAS defense logistics software platform empower military operations and defense industry organizations to minimize the logistics footprint while assuring mission readiness at all times.

  

ILIAS Solutions supports commanders in doing more with less for both military operations and missions. The platform covers the entire armed forces value chain. It aligns operations, training and missions with maintenance, supply and procurement. The ILIAS software platform allows effective execution of processes, captures key information and enables military commanders to manage their defense capability in accordance with the doctrine and within the constraints of their budgets.

 

About Astrata (https://www.astrata.eu)

Astrata is a software company with strong foundations in supply chain optimization, geolocation, telematics and fleet management systems. Building upon the latest IoT (Internet of Things), big data, analytics, and automation technologies, we deliver solutions that streamline transport and logistics operations, enhance supply chain visibility, and optimize and automate operations and mobile workforce. With both software and hardware technology that are considered best-in-class, Astrata relies on enterprise and government customers doing business in all major industry segments.  More than two million daily transactions are processed by our systems, helping improve overall supply chain efficiency, increase profitability, protect our environment by saving fuel and creating safety programs for different industries. Today, Astrata serves over 1200 global & government customers, multinational corporations, enterprises and SMBs with operations spanning in six Continents. Our major operations and offices are in EMEA, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, with our headquarters in Eindhoven and Singapore. Astrata is majority owned by The CIH Group, a technology investment firm.

 

ILIAS SOLUTIONS AT THE BELGIAN AIR FORCE DAYS 2016

The Belgian Air Force Days 2016 took place in Florennes (BE) the 25 & 26 June and, as you might guess ILIAS Solutions was present at this incredible airshow!

We were pleased to be at the BAF Days with Air Combat Europe and their Blackshapes which were decorated with our logo for this special occasion. Air Combat Europe is the first organization offering professional Air Combat for everyone in Europe. ACE gives you the opportunity to learn the art of Air Combat by flying with experienced military F-16 pilots with many hours’ of actual combat.

ILIAS Solutions doesn’t only fly with ACE but also collaborates with their experts on a day to day basis to make better solutions. We draw upon their know-how and expertise for the improvement and extension of our Military Flight Scheduling and Aircrew Training Management solutions to make sure that we can provide value to our Air Force customers.

Our experience at the Belgian Air Force Days gave us the proof that we don’t have to be huge to be efficient! Like the Blackshapes, our solutions are agile and powerful thanks to the effort of a dedicated team with a consistent focus on defense. For 20 years now, we provide the means to assure effective execution of processes, capture key information and enable commanders to do more, with less. 

Want to try our Military Flight Scheduling and Aircrew Training Management solutions?

Do not hesitate to contact us! 

ILIAS FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN OPERATIONAL

As of 06:00 AM CET on March 31st, 2016 the ILIAS application for the Lockheed Martin F-16 Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) team is operational in the production environment. The data migration of the fleet, setup of initial processes and training of the Lockheed Martin Super Users was performed within eight weeks after the Purchase Order was released to ILIAS.

This achievement is a tribute to the effective team effort between the Lockheed Martin and ILIAS Subject Matter Experts as well as the readiness of the ILIAS product for the management of this type of fleet. The next phase of the implementation will focus on optimized processes.