In this discussion activity, address the following:
Pick one of the three management techniques identified in Chapter 1 to minimize the impact of in-service interruptions caused by operate to fail items. As a maintenance manager, identify and evaluate a negative consequence associated with that management technique. What could you, as a maintenance manager, do to mitigate that negative consequence?
After your primary, original posting, review and respond to a minimum of two of your classmates’ postings. From a management perspective, do you agree with their strategy to mitigate the negative consequence? Why or why not? From a management perspective, identify another strategy that could be used to mitigate the consequence.
Need to reply to below 2 peer’s posting. 1 paragraph each
Line Replaceable Units
Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) is a modular components of an aircraft, ship or a spacecraft that is designed to be quickly replaced at the operating location without extensive maintenance (Skybrary, 2017). LRU’s are designed to be replaced either without the assistance of any tools or just be removing a few screws or fasteners. Some common examples of LRU’s are transponders, Multi-function color display (MFCD), transceivers, etc. LRU’s are extremely popular with organizations that cannot afford the downtime of an aircraft such as major airlines. LRU’s allow these organizations to quickly replace the faulty equipment on site while the unserviceable equipment is undergoing maintenance. This allows for reduced aircraft downtime and more reliable operations planning (Skybrary, 2017).
However, just like the two sides of a coin. Line Replaceable Units have their own disadvantages. Some of the major disadvantages include: increased storage/security requirements, increased inventory budgets, inefficient maintenance practices, increased manning requirements etc. Personally, the biggest disadvantage of using LRU’s is increased operating cost. This is due to a combination of numerous aspects of maintenance.
Firstly, in order to efficiently employ LRU’s, an adequate stock needs to be available at all times. These stocks include number of different LRU’s that cost upwards of thousands of dollars while not being actively utilized. Secondly, LRU’s are managed and repaired at facilities commonly known as back shops. These back shops employ full time maintainers that are actively working merely a fraction of their normal duty day. Thirdly, LRU’s often encounter issues that take no more than a few minutes to correct i.e. faulty/insecure wire connections, loose cannon plugs, unseated motherboards etc. However, due to the availability of LRU’s these issues are not properly looked at and the first step if often the replacement of the entire component. This adds additional cost of transporting/shipping, packaging, securing etc to the cost of maintenance for something that could have been fixed almost instantly such as reseating a cannon plug.
As mentioned earlier, LRU’s have both its advantages and disadvantages. However, in order to reap the full benefits of a program; policies and guidelines should be implemented to reduce or eliminate the negative consequences of a system. As a maintenance manager, I would implement just one but effective policy to counter the disadvantages of LRU. This policy would require maintainers to troubleshoot a system and try to fix it on the spot for a certain period of time before making an attempt to replace the entire system. Although, the time may vary between different aircraft. Just for the sake of this discussion, let’s put it at 20 mins. In short every maintainer would be required to troubleshoot and/or perform maintenance on equipment for a minimum of 20 mins before attempting to acquire a replacement for the faulty part.
I believe this policy would allow sufficient time and opportunity for maintainers to resolve minor issues such as loose wire, unseated chips, worn out cannon plugs etc. This would allow my organization to reduce the back shop inventories and reduce the manning requirements and likely save on packaging and shipping cost.
Kinnison, H., & Siddiqui, T. (2012). Aviation maintenance management (2nd. ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Skybrary. (2017, July 20). Line Replaceable Unit. Retrieved February 16, 2018, from https://aviationsafetywiki.org/index.php/Line_Replaceable_Unit
In the arena of aviation maintenance, there exist two different types of maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled.(Kinnison & Siddiqui, 2013) Scheduled maintenance is maintenance that is performed in a set schedule, usually defined by flight hours, calendar date, cycles, or in the case of military aircraft, number of rounds fired or ordinance expended. Scheduled maintenance is performed as a preventative measure to ensure that the aircraft remains flightworthy, which minimizes downtime. Unscheduled maintenance is maintenance that is performed to correct a fault or failure that falls outside of the scheduled maintenance. Such maintenance actions can include the replacement of a faulty Line Replaceable Unit, repair of the aircraft skin or frame that is damaged by debris or wildlife, repairing of chafed or broken electrical wiring, so on and so forth.
While both types of maintenance are necessary, and both types of maintenance can (and often do) overlap, one pitfall that maintainers and maintenance managers can fall into is the act of deferring unscheduled maintenance until the next scheduled maintenance. What this means is that the repair of a minor fault (that may or may not affect the airworthiness of the aircraft) is not performed until the aircraft is down for a scheduled maintenance action. For example, replacing an engine exhaust seal on the AH-64D Apache during a 500 hour phase, rather than when it is first found to be inoperative. While this type of deferral can be used to minimize downtime by combining several maintenance actions into one period of time, particularly when the maintenance action to be performed is labor or time-intensive, relying too heavily on this tactic can inadvertently cause MORE damage to the aircraft if the faulty condition continues to worsen. In the above example, a faulty exhaust seal can cause damage to the engine nacelle, as well as damage to the wiring leading to the navigation light on the nacelle. If left unchecked, the damage can multiply to the extent that the skin of the nacelle would need to be repaired, the wiring replaced, and/or the navigation light be replaced, which would require more man-hours and money than if the seal had been replaced when it was first discovered to be faulty. (Boeing, 2016) As a maintenance manager, I would implement a system of fault evaluation that would determine if the fault could be safely deferred. If the fault could not be deferred until the next scheduled maintenance period, then the fault would have to be corrected as soon as possible, and the aircraft returned to service. If the fault was minor, and deferral would not adversely affect the aircraft’s airworthiness, then the parts and materials for correcting the fault could be earmarked for immediate corrective action as soon as the aircraft entered the next scheduled maintenance period.
Boeing. (2016). AH-64D Longbow Apache. Interactive Electronic Technical Manual. Mesa, Arizona, USA: Boeing.
Kinnison, H. A., & Siddiqui, T. (2013). Aviation Maintenance Management (2nd Ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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