Moving from Part Fulfillment to Fleet Uptime: Changing the Conversation in Aircraft Maintenance


The aviation industry has traditionally been a pacesetter for service efficiency due to the high cost of unavailable aircraft. One approach to servicing aircraft came out of a United States Air Force (USAF) initiative called high-velocity maintenance (HVM) - a program designed to accelerate maintenance depot operations for the purpose of increasing aircraft availability.

HVM strives to streamline logistics processes while maximizing depot productivity and minimizing turn-around times. Achieving this capability entails understanding the relationships of all of the resources and processes required to execute a single maintenance event. While this is often associated with the USAF initiative at Warner Robins, HVM can be applied to any complex aviation system.

Building an HVM initiative

The global and dynamic nature of the aviation industry commands a holistic view of all the functions associated with maintaining an aircraft:

  • Field and depot
  • Maintenance schedules and information
  • Material life-cycles
  • Technicians
  • Part inventories
  • Tools
  • Symptoms and solutions

In order to move from part fulfillment metrics, which do not directly translate to fleet availability, the aviation industry should continue to focus on optimizing its service supply chains in a way that maximizes operating hours and fleet availability. There are four steps organizations managing aviation supply chains must take to reach this end:

  1. Establish a target fleet availability rate.
  2. Forecast parts demand based on scheduled maintenance events, part criticality, part life-cycle data, aircraft activity, historical performance, and other variables.
  3. Consider the relationships between supply chain echelons when stocking inventory (this practice is associated with multi-echelon inventory optimization).
  4. Ensure your parts stock can support fleet availability targets without exacerbating inventory costs. 

Collectively, these steps turn the focus away from part fill rate and toward aircraft availability. A fill rate of 90% doesn't guarantee an airline will be able to use the aircraft it needs to fly customers. The other 10% of missing parts could result in a delayed or cancelled flight. This is an example of why aviation logistics should align with flight operations.

If you want to learn more about high-velocity maintenance, check out our SlideShare outlining seven factors you should take into account when implementing such a strategy.

Moving from Part Fulfillment to Fleet Uptime: Changing the Conversation in Aircraft Maintenance

  • Service & Parts
  • 2/10/2017

The aviation industry has traditionally been a pacesetter for service efficiency due to the high cost of unavailable aircraft. One approach to servicing aircraft came out of a United States Air Force (USAF) initiative called high-velocity maintenance (HVM) - a program designed to accelerate maintenance depot operations for the purpose of increasing aircraft availability.

HVM strives to streamline logistics processes while maximizing depot productivity and minimizing turn-around times. Achieving this capability entails understanding the relationships of all of the resources and processes required to execute a single maintenance event. While this is often associated with the USAF initiative at Warner Robins, HVM can be applied to any complex aviation system.

Building an HVM initiative

The global and dynamic nature of the aviation industry commands a holistic view of all the functions associated with maintaining an aircraft:

  • Field and depot
  • Maintenance schedules and information
  • Material life-cycles
  • Technicians
  • Part inventories
  • Tools
  • Symptoms and solutions

In order to move from part fulfillment metrics, which do not directly translate to fleet availability, the aviation industry should continue to focus on optimizing its service supply chains in a way that maximizes operating hours and fleet availability. There are four steps organizations managing aviation supply chains must take to reach this end:

  1. Establish a target fleet availability rate.
  2. Forecast parts demand based on scheduled maintenance events, part criticality, part life-cycle data, aircraft activity, historical performance, and other variables.
  3. Consider the relationships between supply chain echelons when stocking inventory (this practice is associated with multi-echelon inventory optimization).
  4. Ensure your parts stock can support fleet availability targets without exacerbating inventory costs. 

Collectively, these steps turn the focus away from part fill rate and toward aircraft availability. A fill rate of 90% doesn't guarantee an airline will be able to use the aircraft it needs to fly customers. The other 10% of missing parts could result in a delayed or cancelled flight. This is an example of why aviation logistics should align with flight operations.

If you want to learn more about high-velocity maintenance, check out our SlideShare outlining seven factors you should take into account when implementing such a strategy.

Tags:
  • Service & Parts

About the Author

General Howard Brent Baker

Major General H. Brent Baker, (Retired) VP Worldwide Federal Aerospace and Defense

In his role at PTC, Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker Sr. (Retired) is responsible for strategic planning and business development in the worldwide FA&D market vertical with a specific focus on gaining first-to-market competitive advantage in the adoption of technology and smart, connected enterprise solutions.

General Baker was most recently Vice Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The command employs some 80,000 people and manages $60 billion annually in research, development, test and evaluation, while providing the acquisition management services and logistics support required to develop, procure and sustain Air Force weapon systems.

He also directed policy and procedures affecting AFMC aircraft maintenance, munitions, supply, logistics plans, transportation and packaging methods, and logistics data systems. Finally, as the staff lead for logistics and life cycle sustainment issues, General Baker planned and coordinated product support and acquisition logistics for fielded and emerging Air Force weapon systems.

General Baker entered the Air Force in 1979 as an enlisted member and was commissioned in 1985 through Officer Training School after graduation from Southern Illinois University. He has had numerous assignments, such as the Director of Logistics, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; Chief, Materiel Management Flight, 8th Supply Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, and headquarters staff positions, including Chief, Supply Policy and Procedures, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Virginia. General Baker also served as a presidential fuels flight officer at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and as the Commander, 18th Mission Support Group, Kadena Air Base, Japan. He served both as the Vice Commander and Commander, 95th Air Base Wing, Edwards AFB, California, and as the Commander, Air Force Global Logistics Support Center at Scott AFB, Illinois, and Commander, Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah.

In addition to achieving several educational distinctions in the military for strategic studies, anti-terrorism, and logistics technology, General Baker (ret) holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant.