Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul • December 13, 2022

MRO: The hidden opportunity in digital transformation

With all the attention being paid to digital transformation these days, one area that’s often overlooked is MRO, or Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul. In many shops, this is still an old-fashioned paper-based operation. But that’s changing as companies realize there are efficiencies—and profits—to be gained by digitalizing their servicing operations. 

Today, manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin are using Solumina MRO to drive faster and better results. Whether you’re a service-providing organization or a manufacturer looking to service your own products, Solumina MRO is a digital solution well worth considering.  

To get an idea of how a digital solution can help an MRO shop, let’s take a real-world example and see how MRO operations are improved. Suppose an airplane engine comes in for servicing… 

Start fast and stay organized 

Right from the beginning, you have a head start. Instead of searching through paper records and computer files, the shop floor controller can quickly open a previous work package from a past visit. The work package contains all the needed operations, part numbers, work orders, and planned maintenance for that engine. It can also include documentation such as engineering models and photos. If this is the first time servicing this engine, Solumina MRO makes it easy to start a file and set up the work package and create order from a menu of standardized processes. Either way, it’s already an improvement over paper. 

Smoother process and better communication 

Next, the work package moves automatically to the shop floor (or to remote technicians), along with all the information needed by the repair team. As the technicians tear down the assembly and disposition the parts, all activities are updated in the MRO product history. Any “over and above” work can be sent electronically to supervisors, customers, or any group needed for approval. Solumina MRO makes this easy through a basic discrepancy process, so that users can quickly communicate, adjust the work scope, get the required signatures, and move on with the order.  

Tie up all the loose ends 

At appropriate times, inspectors can use the MRO system to verify parts and procedures, and check that the engine is properly repaired and tested. When everything is ready, Solumina MRO has the complete data records to release the engine for return to the customer. 

The above is just an example, but it’s typical of most maintenance and repair organizations that deal with complex items like airplane engines or major equipment. Solumina MRO simplifies these complex repair processes while helping to maintain quality, accuracy, consistency, and traceability.  

The benefits add up 

Beyond the improved MRO process itself, digitalizing MRO produces a positive impact on business operations in general. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to gain: 

  • Help ensure compliance 

MRO shops often must meet government standards of quality, maintenance, and record-keeping. Solumina MRO maintains a complete service history, helping to ensure regulatory compliance and fast, accurate reporting.  

  • Improve profitability, create new revenue 

MRO is growing in many sectors, especially in aviation. For independent service organizations, a digital MRO system is way to improve competitiveness and profitability. For manufacturers, it can be an opportunity to generate revenue long after a product has been initially sold. It can also build trust among the customer base, showing your commitment to lifecycle support. 

  • Support continuous improvement 

A digital MRO system can be an important part of a continuous improvement program. It provides a feedback loop with design and manufacturing, so products and processes can be improved based on real-world data from the field.  

  • Increase operational agility 

Repair of complex equipment and parts can be unpredictable. You never know when a job is going to go off plan. When that happens, Solumina MRO makes it easy to adjust the work scope, route it for approval with customers, and take care of all the “paperwork”, while at the same time keeping built-in document traceability and verification. 

Organizations these days are focusing on digital investments that offer clear and measurable value, and MRO fulfills that requirement. For many in the manufacturing and servicing industry, a digitalized MRO solution can make a big difference in profitability, competitiveness, and customer relations. If MRO isn’t in your digital transformation plans, you could be overlooking an important opportunity. 

Learn more about Solumina MRO in this introductory video.

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