OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – UGS, a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services,Intel Corporation and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) today announced the completion of the first phase of a wireless Tablet PC-based mobility solution project for maintenance mechanics at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), which could improve the efficiency and productivity of aircraft maintenance time with the potential for significant cost savings.
The point-of-maintenance solution consists of software based on UGS’ industry-leading Teamcenter® PLM portfolio – which already serves as the digital backbone of Tinker’s lifecycle management process – running on wireless Tablet PCs based on Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology. The companies developed the solution based on the broader need of the Department of Defense Logistics Centers to increase productivity, standardize and digitize paper processes and capture more process knowledge for their approximately 700,000-strong maintenance workforce. The software was architected by UGS and Intel, working with the NCMS and member companies to duplicate the look and feel of the original paper forms while significantly automating the process.
“Every year Tinker AFB services approximately 75 large military aircraft such as B-1 and B-52 bombers and C-135 transports,” said Ed Kincaid, NCMS Program Manager at Tinker AFB. “The aircraft and engines are completely dismantled, inspected, serviced and re-assembled, typically taking six months per aircraft. The maintenance process we have been using requires us to manually collect repair requirements on site and then separately enter the data later in the process.
“This new solution enables our maintenance personnel to enter the repair data on a wireless Tablet PC right at the point-of-maintenance using an electronic version of the same paper forms we use today. We expect this dramatically streamlined system could save Tinker AFB significant direct maintenance costs, as well as reduce aircraft maintenance cycle time. This new technology application enables us to increase the time these aircraft are in service doing the defense department jobs they were designed to do.”
UGS and Intel designed the point-of-maintenance system with built-in error checking and knowledge capture capabilities to boost quality and reduce rework. With every repair, knowledge from mechanics and engineers can be captured for future reuse.
“By digitally capturing and being able to review repair and overhaul information about a weapon system, we can now place an order, receive an order, assign parts and get access to on-site technical data at the point of maintenance which eliminates weeks of maintenance cycle time due to paper processing latencies,” said First Lt David M. Moore, chief of Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Engineering at Tinker AFB. “This solution not only reduces inspection process time, it increases data accuracy and enables maintenance history tracking. The result is a substantial overall improvement in the depot evaluation and inspection process.”
Collaboration produces results
UGS and Intel have had a close working relationship for several years. This latest effort takes advantage of each company’s unique strengths to expand the applicability of their respective solutions into new areas of value creation for their clients.
“The PLM market is expanding at a rapid rate, and as a global leader in this industry we are constantly looking for new ways to apply our technology to solve real-world problems,” said Chuck Grindstaff, executive vice president of PLM Solutions for UGS. “By teaming up with Intel we were able to tailor Teamcenter, the world’s most widely used PLM portfolio, to take full advantage of Intel Centrino mobile technology and create this groundbreaking solution for Tinker AFB. We are already seeing growing interest for these kinds of mobile solutions from several organizations in the aerospace, defense and automotive industries as well as several major commercial airlines and healthcare organizations.”
“The mobility and performance provided by Intel Centrino mobile technology combined with applications like UGS’ Teamcenter are helping to transform the way enterprises work,” said John Davies, vice president of Intel’s Solution Market Development Group. “These solutions bring technology to workers who are currently beyond the reach of the digital backbone and whose productivity has been limited by the need to use paper-based processes.”
NCMS is the largest cross-industry collaborative research and development consortium in North America, and is the only consortial effort in the U.S. devoted exclusively to manufacturing technologies, processes and practices. NCMS has more than 17 years of experience in the formation and management of collaborative R&D programs, and is backed by virtually every sector of the manufacturing community. To learn more about NCMS collaboration projects or NCMS in general, please visit: www.ncms.org
About Intel Corporation
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom .
UGS is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services with more than 3 million licensed seats and 42,000 clients worldwide. The company promotes openness and standardization and works collaboratively with its clients in creating enterprise solutions enabling them to transform their process of innovation and thus begin to capture the value of PLM. For more information on UGS products and services, visit www.ugs.com.
Note: Teamcenter is a registered trademark of UGS Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.