Upgrading an entire fleet of fighter jets is an intense and complicated project. You need to coordinate the incoming supply of parts and the timely execution of specialized tasks, all while tracking every step rigorously.
Guidance is needed for the best next step to take, ILIAS’ Guide software solution provides this.
Rob Lambrichs de Bruin, Business Development Manager at ILIAS Solutions explains that every step in the long and intricate process has to be planned in advance. This ensures that crews are not competing for access, and that you aren’t wasting effort on repeating steps.
“Say for example, before you can get to a specific part, there has to be a panel removed,” explains Lambrichs de Bruin. “If you replace the panel when you’re done, and the next guy needs to remove it again, that’s a waste of time and effort. You’d be better to leave it off. This is what ILIAS shows.”
The secret to its success is that it doesn’t just organize the tasks, it organizes the people.
“You cannot grab a guy and say, ‘Oh, you’ve got spare time, can you change the oil?’ he explains. “This guy has to have a separate education. He needs to be current on changing that particular kind of oil. You need to have this particular kind of oil. It needs to be available. Sometimes this guy needs to have a spare part, or special tooling to do this. It becomes more complex and more complex when you are working with military aircraft.”
TIMELY DATA INPUT INCREASES ACCURACY
A smooth maintenance or modification program relies on detailed planning. But when the process gets underway, that’s where “Guide,” really shines. You can tell if a depot is using Guide because everyone is carrying a tablet.
“It is a tablet for every technician, and this tablet does two things; it provides the technician with information about where to go, and what to do. It will tell him exactly what task needs to be done, what he needs for his task, where he can pick that stuff up.”
“Then, and this is crucial, when the task is complete, the technician can mark it as done with one click. So, if a job gets finished at 9:15, it gets entered as complete at 9:15. This information is shared throughout the unified database and the next task can start.”
Contrast that with the old reporting system where technicians would sit down to fil out their work sheets at the end of a very long day. Not only would that information be passed to the next team eight hours late, it also might not be as accurate.
Speaking of accuracy, each task on the to do list can be linked to supplemental information.
“You can attach the latest instructions. You can attach pictures, or links to technical publications with drawings,” says Lambrichs de Bruin.
It also makes it easy for technicians to report discrepancies. If they see a scratch on a panel or a loose connection, they can take a picture and submit it in real time.
“When ILIAS comes in with Guide, the technician’s job becomes more focused. They don’t need to look for what do I need to do and when? That’s already readily available,” says Lambrichs de Bruin. “The only thing we need this person to do is actually put their craft in action, and make sure that the job is done correctly.
DESIGNED TO SCALE UP AS NEEDED
ILIAS Guide is just one part of a suite of software solutions ILIAS provides, all built on the same coding base and all interconnected. This way each person in the chain of command can have access to all the information they need any time they want it.
“We deliver a near real-time detailed control of the Maintenance activities for supervisors, with easy-to-use and intuitive tablet applications providing instructions and technical documentation for technicians, capturing One truth of the work done,”says Francisco Schmidt, Product Owner ILIAS Guide.
Guide is currently being used for a massive retrofit project in Asia. At a single site, 120 F-16’s are being modified to bring them up to Block 70 configuration.
“They are essentially getting new airplanes. The number of man hours runs in the tens of thousands, per airframe,” says Lambrichs de Bruin. Every one of those hours is tracked through Guide.
By collecting this granular data from real world actions, an accurate picture of how long individual tasks take can be created. This allows for increasing efficiency as a program moves along because each step can be managed more precisely. The end result is huge monetary savings, but also something more important: increased asset availability.
“We can offer our customers execution control,” explains Lambrichs de Bruin. “With our software you can be more effective in maintaining and sustaining your weapon systems. That means that you get more usage of them, more availability of them, and more readiness of them without buying more of them. That’s what we do.”
Because increased availability of your military aircraft is the ultimate goal of using ILIAS.