Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) software, available from several suppliers, typically includes multiple, selectable modules managing and recording various aspects of aircraft maintenance. They’re typically highly integrated systems, and while they can make economic sense for smaller fleets, their complexity tends to find favour with the airlines and larger MROs.
Working out of Luxembourg, MRX Systems has developed an MRO software fully compatible with smaller organisations, just as it’s also applicable to larger outfits. EVA quizzed MRX Systems Sales Manager Arnaud Veron on the software’s capabilities.
Are your maintenance solutions specifically designed for smaller organisations?
No, they’re for professional operators whatever their fleet size. Our clients are diverse and include those operating on an AOC, flying private aircraft, running EMS aircraft, training schools, independent CAMOs [continuous airworthiness management organisations] and Part 145 maintenance organisations, with all types and sizes of aircraft, and rotary or fixed wings.
I well understand why someone might think we design our solutions specifically for smaller operators though, because some of our competitors’ solutions are actually ERP [enterprise resource planning] systems, containing dozens of modules and usually more attractive to the airlines. Our Blue Eye solution is a core aviation maintenance business product, with a focus on creating a complete, efficient ecosystem for CAMO, MRO and logistics management as an integrated, real-time, paperless process. Of course, it can be connected to third party systems/ERPs as required.
We offer Blue Eye for CAMO management, Blue MRO for Part 145 maintenance management and Blue STOK for stock and logistics management.
Isn’t it true that a software-managed maintenance system is only as good as the data entered into it? How are new clients’ paper records, jpgs, pdfs, Excel, Word files and so on entered into the system?
It’s the most critical phase; system efficiency relates to the quality of the recorded data. Whenever necessary, a highly skilled CAMO partner helps us perform this huge, time-consuming task. We count on their expert eyes to record the information while also checking its coherence.
The service is cloud based – how is it accessed?
It’s in the cloud managed by Microsoft Azure, allowing 24/7 worldwide access to anyone with the required credentials. In the case of flight crew, our eTechlog app has full offline capability thanks to its built in database. Crew simply need to perform an ‘Offline Sync’ before beginning their operational day to retrieve and store the aircraft’s status – due list, MEL [minimum equipment list], logs history, pilot list, pdf documents and more. The system can then work without connectivity and data can be sent once Wi-Fi/4G/3G/Edge is again available.
Is the system able to alert them of forthcoming maintenance events?
Yes, it retrieves the due list with the next airworthiness limitations, displayed with a colour coded flag system as easy as: ‘Green you can fly’ and ‘Red you cannot fly’.
Can the system be integrated into flight planning and accounting departments?
Blue Eye includes a fully operational API [application programming interface] that enables customers to bridge our solution to third-party systems, including flight planning and accounting software.
With the help of two customer partners, we’re developing a new Blue OPS module that will make the solution even more complete and integrated.
Do hangar-floor technicians access MRX on the go, through iPads or other devices?
That’s exactly our concept, to provide mobile device access from the hangar floor. At the moment we’re focussing on Apple devices, specifically iPads.
Do these interface with the cloud in real time?
The whole solution is based on a real-time environment. A technician can be completing line maintenance on the other side of the world and anyone on the system will be notified of progress as it happens.
Does the system employ barcoded job cards or parts labels to provide an auditable ‘paper trail’ of work done?
The system doesn’t use barcoded job cards since this would require printed material and our goal is to be 100% paperless. The iPad being what it is, it already contains all the necessary information and transfers all input back to the cloud server, including details of man power and man hours, parts, tools, findings, internal communications and so on. The only piece of the paperless puzzle still missing is parts labels. For each incoming part into an inventory, the system generates a small label, including a QR Code, to be printed and placed with the part on the shelf.
What’s the eTechlog solution?
It’s a separate app intended to replace the paper flight and technical logbooks for pilots and technicians on board the aircraft. It’s not linked to an MRO facility, but to the operator/CAMO. Our eTechlog solution was among the early pioneers and has been approved and used as a main log system by operators in Europe since 2011. It’s the Blue Eye component specifically for pilots and technicians.
What’s the eJobCard solution?
Our eJobCard technology works through an iPad app. It replaces the technicians’ classic paper report. From the iPad, a technician can clock in and out of the company and access his/her planned activity for the day, including the list of projects and job cards to be worked on.
For each job, a technician can ‘badge in’ using a unique QR Code identifier, download the pdf procedure files if available, specify all the actions taken and report findings if applicable. Necessary spares and tools are noted and can be allocated beforehand. The system checks that used tools and parts are appropriate, that is, serviceable, with shelf life remaining for parts, or with calibration due date not overdue for tools. A validation feature enables technicians to sign off a job card with a handwritten signature on the device, and critical tasks requiring duplicate inspections are also handled.
The result is the automatic generation of a pdf document including all recorded information, signatures, and certification documents for fitted parts, since the store manager scans them upon receipt. This feature alone can save thousands of man hours per year, depending on the size of the facility. Productive man hours are recorded automatically and available in a management dashboard.
What’s Blue Log?
Blue Log is an ongoing project to create a personal logbook for pilots and technicians. The intention is that it will be provide, at no cost and linked to our CAMO and MRO modules, for the automatic recording of information from pilot/technician logbooks and its storage in the cloud, along with a social dimension.
A time-consuming project, it has been put aside for a while as we dedicate resources to other projects, but we plan to re-activate it soon, using the latest web technologies.
What’s next for MRX Systems?
We’ll keep doing what we do best, developing new features and improving those we already have. The very next step in that process is to build a new module for operations management. We’re working on it with two partner operator companies in order to create a flexible, efficient system.
Our eTechlog App will also be enhanced, with a new Quick Flight Mode that will enable an even easier and faster flight recording process. An associated Cabin Log app will complete the solution for airline operators.