| WASHINGTON, July 17
WASHINGTON, July 17 Engine maker Pratt & Whitney
will partner with International Business Machines Corp
to compile and analyze data from about 4,000 commercial aircraft
engines in order to be able to predict trouble before problems
arise, the company announced on Thursday.
The announcement comes as more aircraft engine suppliers
tune in to data analytics to increase safety and reduce costs.
In 2012, IBM rival Accenture partnered with GE Aviation
to launch a similar offering that allows airlines to
chart fuel-efficient flight paths and decrease hold times at
Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp
, said in a statement it has hired IBM to analyze the
half terabyte of data that engines generate on every flight to
detect and predict engine trouble.
"Rather than reacting to some sort of an engine event, we
are leveraging data from various sources for maintenance, for
planning engine diagnostic systems and building predictive
models," Jerry Kurtz, vice president of strategy and analytics
at IBM, said.
A typical engine overhaul can cost between $3 million and
$10 million. Using IBM's data analytics, Pratt & Whitney expects
to prolong engine life to up to six years from the current four
to five and reduce maintenance costs by up to 20 percent, said
Jim Pennito, director of service programs at Pratt & Whitney.
Through the partnership, which has been in the works for a
year and half, IBM will analyze the massive amounts of data
already generated from engines on the field and flag those that
have the highest risk of presenting problems in the near future
for proactive maintenance.
"The focus is to be a lot smarter and efficient in how we
overhaul engines. Customers should see that in less disruptions,
and removals, and when the engine is in the shop, targeted
repairs so the engine can come out of the shop quickly," Pennito
(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Leslie Adler)