MRO

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul
Increase visibility, control, and efficiency of MRO operations

MRO

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul

Increase visibility, control, and efficiency of MRO operations

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) software takes visibility, control, and efficiency of machines and devices in complex shop floor operations to a new level. MRO operations have typically been performed on paper, but in recent years, Industry 4.0 has become a catalyst for paperless processes. Replacing paper-based processes and standalone applications with a central digital solution provides a powerful set of benefits for complex manufacturers.

By implementing a digital MRO solution, manufacturers can:

Utilize as-designed and as-built specifications to improve planning and execution efficiency
Schedule and manage repairs in a consistent, repeatable way to minimize risk and downtime
Weave disparate digital threads into a Digital Cloth
Isolate problems precisely at the source
Streamline workflows, traceability, and efficiency
Standardize and enforce best practices

The power of MRO software can be expanded even further by integrating with other business systems such as MES and SQM to maximize agility and connectivity across the entire manufacturing enterprise.

What Is MRO?

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MRO encompasses all of a manufacturer’s activities related to maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of machines and devices. It’s especially important in complex manufacturing, where products come with a lifetime of scheduled maintenance, repairs, upgrades, or overhauls.

In addition to managing these activities and the associated supply chain, MRO software enables predictive maintenance to proactively service equipment before issues become a problem. It can reduce maintenance costs with managed schedules and fewer emergencies, isolate problems at the source, and enable workers to act with accuracy and efficiency. Beyond improving daily MRO operations, MRO software empowers continuous improvement by standardizing and enforcing best practices.
MRO is needed throughout the entire lifecycle of complex manufactured products, as both government and civil programs are increasing the demand for sustainability. MRO software allows manufacturers to stay engaged with their product after delivery, and collect product performance data during real-life use.

Weaving digital threads into a Digital Cloth

Complex products experience a lifetime of maintenance and repair activities after delivery, including upgrades. An MRO solution creates a digital record of these activities, allowing manufacturers to create a holistic Digital Cloth from their digital threads. To succeed in weaving a Digital Cloth that best supports complex manufacturing, particularly when sustainment is critical to program success, manufacturers should look for:

  • Ability to share 3D models via STEP and 3D PDF
  • Ability to share maintenance materials via standards like S1000D
  • Connectivity to leading ERP applications prevalent in MRO industries
  • Support for industry service standards such as FAA A,B, C and D Checks
  • Ability to handle field-level, depot-level, and factory-level repair/refurbishment sequences

Common MRO Industries

MRO software has applications in many industries, but it’s especially important where complex products and manufacturing are involved. Major industries include:

Aerospace & Defense

Ensuring the safety and airworthiness of aircraft is a complex task that extends through its lifetime. MRO solutions are gaining popularity in the industry as A&D manufacturers seek a competitive edge by making their MRO processes more efficient.

Shipbuilding

Large sea vessels come with demands similar to aircraft MRO. There are many areas that need 100% reliability, such as navigation, propulsion, and electrical systems that will cost commercial profits if they fail. These conditions have led shipbuilding manufacturers to optimize their MRO processes.

Industrial Equipment

For the makers of equipment such as industrial gas turbines, an MRO solution can provide the maintenance needed for highly valuable machinery with long lifecycles. Some common industrial equipment that can benefit from MRO software are compressors, pumps, valves, and turbines.

Medical Devices

Medical device manufacturers are subject to some of the most stringent compliance regulations of any manufacturing industry. Additionally, medical devices require as much (or more) preventive maintenance and care as heavy machinery. Lives are on the line if a mistake occurs. In order to create a reliable product, an MRO solution ensures that every device is operating at peak efficiency.

Nuclear

Some of the most complex facilities and devices in manufacturing can be found in the nuclear industry. Nuclear fusion reactors and the facilities that house them require exhaustive and customized maintenance. There is no room for error, so manufacturers often rely on a digital MRO to ensure efficiency and accuracy.

Electronics

All of the above industries use electronics in the form of delicate sensors, electromechanical components, and more. These electronics require their own set of MRO tasks and knowledge, and they are greatly enhanced by paperless processes.

MRO in Aviation

MRO is one of the main drivers of continuous improvement in the aviation industry. Aviation manufacturers must adhere to strict compliance and quality standards, and rising demand for air travel is causing an increased demand for maintenance. In addition, manufacturers in this industry are working with razor-thin profit margin, which means any opportunity to save time or money is extremely valuable.

MRO SOFTWARE HELPS AVIATION MANUFACTURERS WITH:

  • Engines
    MRO supports maintenance of engines and related systems such as fuel injection systems, turbo chargers, and other finely-tuned assemblies.
  • Structural Components
    MRO manages the repair, maintenance, and upgrades of composite and mechanical airframe components, including like cargo doors, control surfaces, interior parts, and the fuselage itself.
  • Systems Components
    MRO covers the hydraulic and pneumatic system components such as landing gears, as well as electrical systems that are critical to the functionality and safety of the aircraft.

MRO software will continue to be a critical tool to manage the many costs and risks associated with aviation maintenance and overhaul. The aviation industry’s growth in this complex environment requires MRO software that enable enterprises to keep up with these conditions.

Types of MRO Software

MRO software can improve many operations in complex manufacturing. A digital solution can help with:

  • Complex Assembly
    Manage complex equipment such as engines that may require disassembly and assembly with serialized part tracking.
  • Repair
    Manage repairs when a machine or component fails, MRO Software can also help prevent failure by monitoring equipment to detect when it is out of acceptable performance ranges.
  • Retro-Commissioning
    Improve the performance of existing equipment and facilities by upgrading and modernizing components and systems.
  • Rebuild or Overhaul
    Disassemble and inspect machinery and systems to identify defective, damaged or worn parts.
  • Scheduled Maintenance
    Manage and schedule the optimum maintenance activities to ensure continued cost- effective operation and acceptable performance ranges.
  • Supply Chain Consulting
    Manage and maintain a supply chain of MRO-related parts and equipment to reduce total costs and improve efficiency.

The IoT Revolution in MRO

Digital MRO solutions are effective in their own right, but they are strengthened considerably when working within a broadly connected, real-time IoT infrastructure that allows smart devices to communicate anywhere in the world. As the IoT revolution takes shape, manufacturers who seize the opportunity are beginning to see benefits in these key areas:

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a maturing technology that can help harness the vast amounts of data produced by complex manufacturing processes. AI-powered applications can distribute MRO data to the right place at the right time, enabling executives to make better, faster decisions.

Wearables
Wearables can enhance MRO activities in several ways. For inspections, wearables allow hands-free data collection and visual instructions. On the production line, technicians can use wearable devices that untether them from their computer station, so they can be wherever they need to be on the plant floor and still have access to the data they need.

Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) software is often used in combination with wearable devices. It streamlines production by providing visual instructions for work processes and receiving updates to work orders. This can improve the process in many ways, from reducing training time to mitigating risk.

Robotics
Robotics and smart devices are a big part of Industry 4.0 manufacturing. Smart machinery enables continuous improvement and process optimization. It gives visibility into quality analysis with a wealth of data generated during use. The more connected the factory becomes, the more benefits it gains. In a factory where all devices are connected in real time, data can trigger activities and alert workers instantly, resulting in an agile shop floor that can quickly adapt to any issue that arises.

3D Printing
3D printing is increasingly being adopted by manufacturers to save money and create custom parts. In complex manufactured products, there are thousands of components and subassemblies. With 3D printing, manufacturers can streamline production components and rely on fewer suppliers, and they can more easily produce unique parts for one-of-a-kind systems.

The Benefits of The Right MRO Solution

MRO is key to achieving lean manufacturing processes and maintaining profit margins while increasing competitiveness in the marketplace. As more and more manufacturers vie for the same bids, it is critical to implement faster and more responsive MRO software to optimize resource management, record every step for compliance and monitoring, and expedite turnaround times.

A key benefit of MRO is predictive maintenance for identifying when machines need downtime/maintenance before problem develop. Sensors, machine learning, and AI work together to identify maintenance issues from subtle signs that are invisible to even the most talented inspector. Instead of reacting to machine issues, manufacturers can anticipate the problems and work proactively.
Benefits include:

MRO-Enabled Visibility

  • Support real-time, high-quality data collection
  • Track tooling, parts, and resources
  • Collaborate between manufacturing and procurement teams
  • Provide real-time insight into key indicators of performance, work order status, and resources
  • Gain visibility into consumption of supplies and tooling

MRO-Enabled Productivity

  • Enhance inventory and supply chain management
  • Streamline routine and non-routine work processes
  • Increase throughout
  • Enable lean inventory management
  • Provide the shop floor with online work orders that are complete information kits, containing illustrated instructions, 3D models, specifications, tooling and parts lists, and inspection requirements

MRO-Enabled Reliability

  • Reduce downtime with consistent MRO processes
  • Standardize and enforce best practices
  • Anticipate and mitigate downtime with predictive maintenance

Paperless Processes

  • Increase sustainability
  • Accelerate MRO processes by eliminating redundant data entry
  • Reduce manual processes and reduce the risk of clerical errors

Reduced Maintenance Cost

  • Implement a centralized system to track, manage, and control MRO inventory
  • Standardize and enforce best practices
  • Streamline delivery of materials to the production floor

Quality Control

  • Record a complete history of “who, what, and when” for each changed object in every work plan revision
  • Receive detailed planning and tracking of parts, labor hours, and resources
  • Utilize MRO data to influence decisions in the design process and New Product Introduction (NPI)

Automated Compliance Documentation

  • Automatically log all data collection and approvals into history and storage at every step
  • Integrate CAPA processes that can handle complex problems and solutions
  • Use compliance as a tool for process improvement
  • Ensure that only certified mechanics perform specified work steps and that only calibrated gauges are used

Find the Path to Digital MRO

The benefits of digital MRO are clear, but how do you get there? Find out by downloading this free report from iBASEt.

MRO with Solumina

iBASEt’s Solumina MRO platform provides the broad, interdepartmental functionality that’s needed for an effective MRO solution. It combines planning and scheduling, resource management, quality management, and manufacturing execution in a single, integrated system. As a result, complex manufacturers can holistically manage production, quality, MRO, and the associated supply chain.

Solumina MRO is also ready for the future. It provides the infrastructure needed to implement advanced capabilities such as augmented reality, IIoT connectivity, and more. In short, Solumina MRO is ready to help power the next generation of Industry 4.0 manufacturers.

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