AI Case Study

Rolls Royce plans to predict maintenance requirements for jet engines to improve aircraft efficiency using Microsoft Azure's machine learning

Rolls Royce and Microsoft have announced a partnership to monitor its jet engines and aggregate other data to predict maintenance needs and optimise scheduling. Other uses for the data analysis will be fuel consumption explanations for Rolls Royce's airline clients.

Industry

Transportation

Airlines

Project Overview

"Starting with Azure IoT solution accelerators, Rolls-Royce will be able to collect and aggregate data from disparate and geographically distributed sources at an unprecedented scale... Initially, the types of data being processed include snapshots of engine performance that the planes send wirelessly during a flight, massive downloads of comprehensive “black box”–type data, technical logs, and flight plans as well as forecast and actual weather data provided by third parties.

Using Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite, Rolls-Royce will be able to analyze a rich set of data and perform data modeling at scale to accurately detect operational anomalies and help customers plan relevant actions... By looking at wider sets of operating data and using machine learning and analytics to spot subtle correlations, we can optimize our models and provide insight that might improve a flight schedule or a maintenance plan and help reduce disruption for our customers.

In expanding the scope of services Rolls-Royce offers its customers, fuel efficiency is one of the first and highest-yield areas that the company is targeting. By analyzing new data against existing forecasts, reference tables, and historical trends, Rolls-Royce will be able to help airlines understand exactly which factors—including flight plans, equipment maintenance, weather, and discretionary fuel—have the most impact on fuel performance".

Reported Results

Planned; results not yet available

Technology

Function

Strategy

Strategic Planning

Background

"Flight delays are a familiar headache for most people who fly on commercial airlines. At a personal level, they are disruptive and costly, but for the airlines the impact is exponentially larger. Minimizing the cost and disruption of maintenance activities is a key focus for these businesses. Rolls-Royce has over 13,000 engines for commercial aircraft in service around the world, and for the past 20 years, it has offered customers comprehensive engine maintenance services that help keep aircraft available and efficient. As the rapidly increasing volume of data coming from many different types of aircraft equipment overtakes the airlines' ability to analyze and take insight from it, Rolls-Royce is using the Microsoft Azure platform to fundamentally transform how it uses data to better serve its customers.

Today, each engine has many sensors and generates thousands of signals, with a corresponding increase in the number of data points produced. As a leading provider of aviation engine services, Rolls-Royce examined these growing data analysis challenges and emerged with a plan to address the changing market with a more compelling set of services to meet the broader needs of the marketplace".

Benefits

Data

According to Microsoft: "Initially, the types of data being processed include snapshots of engine performance that the planes send wirelessly during a flight, massive downloads of comprehensive “black box”–type data, technical logs, and flight plans as well as forecast and actual weather data provided by third parties".