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:
What Is MRO?
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:
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
- 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
- Enhance inventory and supply chain management
- Streamline routine and non-routine work processes
- Increase throughput
- 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
- Reduce downtime with consistent MRO processes
- Standardize and enforce best practices
- Anticipate and mitigate downtime with predictive maintenance
- 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
- 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
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.