Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), one of the globally renowned independent aircraft engineering and maintenance companies, implemented a solution for full tool control and prevention of Foreign Object Detection (FOD) occurrences.
HAECO selected Xerafy for its track record in the aviation industry, as well as the strong market experience and capabilities that the company has demonstrated in RFID tool control for MRO and FOD.
HAECO provides maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for more than 200 aircrafts each year
HAECO provides maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for more than 200 aircrafts each year. Since its inception in 1950, the company has continuously grown to become one of the largest players in the fast-growing global aircraft MRO market, valued in excess of US$ 67 billion.
Over the next ten years, the Asia Pacific and China market will see the fastest and largest global MRO demand growth and spend.
Combining data and technology solutions
With MRO companies eager to increase efficiency and productivity, HAECO’s Patrick Wong, Executive General Manager, Line Services and his teams leveraged their operational experience and best practices, in order to identify how combining data and technology can deliver significant improvements.
Each MRO company’s mechanics use its own tools and tool boxes, and at the end of each shift, the mechanics have to conduct a full inventory, to ensure that they didn’t leave any tools on the aircraft. This process is typically done manually, which is both inefficient and inaccurate. Manual tool control can also result in duplicate or lost data, as well as inaccuracies in the tool management database.
Management tool with user-friendly system interface
The project team’s vision was to automate the control process, using a solution with a user-friendly system interface and technology that could incorporate existing tooling and toolboxes, without additional investment in new equipment.
“We needed a solution that would deliver inventory checks with a single scan, quickly and with 100 percent accuracy,” said Patrick Wong, adding “The interface had to be easy-to-use, while the wide variety of tools to track meant, we wanted the flexibility to be able to tag tools and devices of any size.”
Hand-held RFID readers deployed
Using Xerafy’s solution, HAECO has reduced inventory checks from 20 minutes to less than three minutes
The pilot project was completed in November 2017, at HAECO’s Hong Kong main operations site, with a full control solution, featuring a mobile app connected to the company’s back-office system, to track and trace 3,200 tools using hand-held RFID readers.
Using Xerafy’s solution, HAECO has reduced inventory checks from 20 minutes to less than three minutes, an 85 percent reduction that saves 17 minutes per mechanic, per day. HAECO achieved this fast return on investment (ROI) based on the time savings alone.
Efficient inventory checking and management
In addition to making the mechanics more productive, the inventory checks are more accurate and automatically reconciled with the reports. By ensuring that tools aren’t left on the aircraft, HAECO is able to reduce the possibility of Foreign Object Damage (FOD) to its client’s aircraft.
The company can also better manage the maintenance and upkeep of expensive tools and can use real-time inventory data, in order to create comprehensive reports and conduct data analysis, and business forecasting.