Improved maintenance optimization for aircraft engines

Veronica Fornlöf

My research

My name is Veronica Fornlöf and I'm an industrial PhD student within the IPSI research school since January 2013. Current title of my research is: Improved aircraft engine maintenance optimization using classification of On-Condition parts. The research will focus on how to gain better life length estimations for aircraft engine components by using a classification method.

Basic Motivations

Maintenance of aircraft engines is an expensive and time consuming operation that typically accounts for 10-20 percent of aircraft related operating costs. In a time when it is important to be more and more competitive, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems (GKN) has decided to finance a research project within the area of improved maintenance optimization.

Today's maintenance planning process is almost completely manual where decisions on what modules and components to maintain are based on heuristic measures. Due to a new tool, that has been developed and launched at GKN, which is used to calculate how much life the Life Limited Parts (LLP) have consumed, the planning process has become more complex and a tool to support the maintenance planning is therefore required. This tool will during the upcoming year be developed within GKN, and will be based on a mathematical optimization model that has been developed in cooperation with Chalmers. To be able to incorporate all components that are important for the maintenance planning process, it is necessary to develop better methods to estimate how much life time the on-condition parts (OC-parts) have left.

The status of OC-parts are, in the current maintenance process, only identified and detected through inspection and non-destructive testing. The remaining lives for the OC-parts, that are to be included in the optimization model, are therefore currently estimates based on historical failure data. This evaluation, as well as the estimation of the remaining life for the OC-parts, could thus be improved if the parts could be divided into different life-length groups using some classification method.

Aim

This project proposes to develop a method (a "classification scheme") to divide the OC-parts into classes depending on component status, detected and identified fault modes, and actual life. The classes will then be used to estimate the remaining life for each component, i.e. how long the part can be kept in operation. This is expected to lead to more accurate predictions of remaining lives, which will lead to more reliable optimizations results.

Supervisors and Mentors

People directly involved in my research are:

    • Primary Supervisor & Industrial Mentor – Senior Company Specialist Logistics, Torgny Almgren, PhD & Adj. Prof, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems
    • Industrial Mentor –  Manager Military Customer Support, Camilla Englund, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems
    • Board of directors of IPSI

 


Contact info

Veronica Fornlöf
Email: veronica.fornlof@gknaerospace.com
Work: 0520-293611
Address: Dept.7163 - TL4, 461 81 Trollhättan, Sweden

 

Veronica Fornlöf