MTI Instruments is supplying the aviation industry with solutions to the skilled labor shortage and reduced equipment availability. No, our Albany, New York company isn’t providing aviation MROs with more flight line personnel, engine mechanics, or Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Instead, we’re delivering precision measurement solutions that can help MROs to maximize labor productivity and asset uptime.
Solving the Skilled Labor Shortage
Aviation MROs have a choice. They can wait for training programs to provide new workers, poach workers from competitors, invest in robots, or look for ways to gain greater efficiency from existing labor assets. About 18 months ago, the Aviation Technician Education Council was already warning that 30% of aircraft mechanics were at or near retirement age. For its part, Boeing estimated that the aviation industry will need over 750,000 new aircraft technicians over the next 20 years.
Luring workers away from competitors is an option, but it won’t just make you unpopular in the MRO community. You’ll have to pay higher wages, offer better benefits, and increase both your direct and indirect labor costs. Plus, many of the workers that you could attract are already older and may be approaching the end of their careers. Other industries, such as manufacturing, are solving their skilled labor shortage through robotics and automation. Although some aviation MROs are now using robots and cobots to speed inspections and repairs, these investments are expensive.
Fortunately, there’s a swift and cost-effective way to pinpoint engine problems. MTI’s PBS-4100+ is a field-proven vibration analyzer and balancing instrument that maximizes the availability of engine mechanics and flight line personnel. Instead of removing an engine from an aircraft and bringing it to the shop, workers can bring the PBS-4100+ to the engine. This eliminates time-consuming engine removals on flight lines and improves the operational efficiency of test cells. With its built-in diagnostics, wizard-like operation, flexible data views, and configurable tracking operation, the PBS-4100+ helps MROs to reduce maintenance costs and make the most of labor assets.
Increasing Asset Uptime
MTI’s PBS-4100+ works with all of the most common jet engine types, including powerplants from CFM International, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, and International Aero Engines. This portable vibration analysis and balancing instrument can also be used on all of the engines in the U.S. Air Force’s inventory. For both civilian and military aircraft, the PBS-4100+ increases asset uptime by eliminating avoidable engine removals. Today, aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier, Honda, and Sukhoi all leverage the portability and precision of MTI’s Made in USA measurement solution.
The PBS-4100+ also increases asset uptime because its on-board diagnostics identify the specific cause of engine vibrations, which makes it easier for crews to make repairs. When this portable instrument is used in conjunction with MTI’s 1510A portable signal generator, combined they help to isolate problems down to cables, sensors, and system components. Flight line personnel and engine mechanics who use these trim balance procedures can reduce vibration levels quickly and get aircraft back into service faster. Aircraft cable sets and connection accessories also support faster maintenance for greater asset uptime.
The availability of assets was important even before the lengthy grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX. As the spread of the coronavirus reduces international air travel, many airlines are facing diminished profits because of reduced capacity. As the industry confronts new challenges, MROs that maximize labor efficiency and asset uptime can better position themselves for the future. MTI’s PBS-4100+ is a precise, portable, and proven solution for vibration analysis and engine balancing. To learn more, contact us for information.