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  • MRO 4.0 is all about leveraging technology for predictive maintenance solutions, says Jaideep Mirchandani

    Published on November 29, 2023

     India, the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world, has lately been witnessing some interesting developments. In September this year, India became the first MRO entity in the Indian subcontinent to perform heavy checks on a Boeing 737 MAX. By the end of 2023 year, it is also expected to begin offering multiple maintenance capabilities to domestic and foreign customers.

    In November this year, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced its entry into the commercial aircraft servicing sector with the establishment of a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the Airbus A320 family aircraft. This is significant considering Airbus has secured 1,044 net orders from India in just the first half of this year

    News reports also indicate that Rolls Royce, (the distributor and manufacturer of aerospace power systems) and Safran (the world’s second-largest aircraft equipment manufacturer) are looking to set up MRO facilities in the country.

    The need for repair facilities is increasing in tandem with expanding aircraft fleets which will require extensive annual maintenance checks. Dedicated MRO facilities across India could become a reality in the near future, creating countless employment opportunities for, amongst others, engineers, mechanics, avionics technicians, and maintenance personnel.  In August 2023, Analytics group CRISIL predicted that India’s annual MRO revenue could grow up to $55-60 billion by 2028.

    Jaideep Mirchandani Chairman of Sky One is well aware of this surge and stated, “The latest data shared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) states that passengers carried by domestic airlines in India during January-October 2023 were around 1,254.98 lakhs as against 988.31 lakhs in the corresponding period of 2022. The aviation sector in India is undoubtedly burgeoning and to support this requires a significant increase in MRO infrastructure.  The defense aviation expenditure is also poised to grow.  As such, 4.0 is the way forward for India.”

    MRO 4.0, he points out, is also expected to transform the global aviation industry and explains, “Post COVID-19, the industry has been forced to reconfigure strategies pertaining to preventive maintenance, equipment repairs, and training. MRO 4.0 is helping by leveraging technology to plug skill gaps and offer preventive maintenance solutions that are more affordable and reliable. Innovations like thermal vibration sensors and smart maintenance monitoring technology as well as the use of 4.0 advancements in AI and ML will further augment MRO efficiency. Blockchain technology is already helping companies to secure data against breaches.”

    India, he believes, has the potential to create smart, integrated, CPS (Cyber-Physical Systems) based MRO solutions with the help of  AI analytics, IoT (The Internet of Things) sensor data, AR (Augmented reality), and cloud computing.  

    “3D printing, robots with machine vision, drones which can scan inventories, and digital twins which can simulate a machine to help identify a systemic or structural anomaly can help the MRO industry to keep pace with its planned growth and emerge as a future-forward leader in the global aviation MRO space,” concludes Mr. Mirchandani.

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