Well, more than you might think. And to be clear, we’re not talking about any old home thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat was launched by Google in 2011, and since has been revolutionising home and business heating, with a 3rd generation of the device released last year. For the uneducated, the Nest Learning Thermostat is a programmable and self-learning Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that optimizes temperature control of homes and businesses, with the aim of conserving energy. It works via the use of a machine learning algorithm: for the first week, users have to regulate the thermostat manually in order to provide it with a reference data set. After that, the Nest can learn your schedule and your preferred temperature at a given time and automatically adjust the thermostat. Using a combination of built-in sensors and the location of any smart phones it’s linked to, it can also detect when there’s nobody home and shift into energy saving mode. Conserving energy (good for the planet), and saving money (good for your pocket).
Pretty smart, right? We think so too.
But that’s not even the best bit, or at least there’s even more best bits. Nest also uses the data it collects to put together a monthly report on your energy usage and makes suggestions on where improvements can be made in your energy consumption. It also benchmarks you against other people in your neighbourhood who are also using Nest –nothing like a bit of healthy competition!
But before this turns into a marketing brochure for Nest, how can the technology behind it help airlines perform better?
Process improvement, and specifically MRO process improvement. As we’ve pointed out before, aircraft engineers are spending around 30% of their time on administration alone, impacting ground time and hitting the financial bottom line of the airline. In an industry already under pressure, this simply unsustainable. So what to do?
The way we see it, improvement of MRO processes needs to come from two angles. First of all, give the engineers more time in the workshop and less at a computer screen by digitalizing the workflow. Electronic messaging to send and receive work orders and request parts will save a lot of time compared to the use of printouts and handwritten forms. Secondly – and this is the part which gets us most excited – is make use of the data that can be collected through this digitalization. Data means insight and knowledge, and that’s what is currently lacking between the work floor and the offices of management.
Harvesting the data fruits
As engineers go about their daily work they are generating data – the time of the year, the types of maintenance required (particularly interesting is the unplanned stuff), the time it takes them to complete certain tasks and so on. Adding integration with other apps that record, for example, the outside temperature gives an even more complete picture. After a few days you’ve probably already collected some useful information which can already be put to good use, continue over the weeks and months and you have a wealth of data which can be put to good use in maximising the efficiency of your processes.
What is MROair doing with this technology? We’ve created an app which does exactly this. Firstly, it takes care of the engineers wishes by providing fast, efficient and paperless working by digitalizing the organisation of their tasks. And all the while it’s collecting, filtering and interpreting the key data that they generate. This real time data is then transformed into a user friendly dashboard which can be viewed by management, bridging the gap between their desk and what’s happening on the work floor. The insights this brings provide understanding into how improvements can be made, and made quickly. In the future, artificial intelligence will allow the app to make automatic changes based on what it has learned as recently as the previous day.
Pretty smart. If you think so too then get in touch to request a demo and get a glimpse of the future of aviation MRO.