Keeping airplanes in the air and generating revenue requires a reliable airplane backed by robust technical support that ensures parts and services are ready and available when and where the airline operator needs them. GoldCare, a new service from Boeing, will help airlines improve operational efficiency by ensuring that parts and services are deployed globally when needed.
By Jay Maloney, Vice President, Fleet Management
By monitoring the airplane in real time, GoldCare can proactively anticipate problems and help maximize airplane availability.
When operators begin flying the 787 Dreamliner, they will also have a flexible new set of support services available to them. GoldCare, developed by Boeing specifically for the 787, is designed to provide airlines with technical support to help them maximize operations in a way that leverages the 787’s new systems and e-enabled capabilities.
This article describes the range of GoldCare services and how they can help airlines optimize 787 operations.
A new way of providing support services
GoldCare is a flexible set of 787 support services developed by Boeing that addresses several operational efficiency needs of an airline and can be tailored to specific customer requirements. These services enable operators to outsource some or all of their engineering and maintenance operational needs.
Under the program, Boeing integrates a network of world-class maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organizations and suppliers that deliver maintenance services and material management to a participating airline’s in-service 787 fleet.
Boeing integrates these services with engineering, planning, and supply chain logistics services at a predictable and competitive cost. In addition to the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Operations Center, GoldCare also provides a 24x7 support center using advanced technologies that turn airplane operating data into diagnostic information to enhance efficiency and maximize airplane availability.
Boeing employs a global approach to managing the maintenance program, based on the company’s information technology infrastructure, scale, and experience with fleetwide real-time data and e-enabled tools. This combination allows Boeing to offer a fleet management service that takes full advantage of the data richness of the 787.
Airlines using GoldCare services can simplify airplane ownership, boost airplane availability, reduce cost, minimize risk, and improve efficiency throughout the lifecycle of the airplane (see fig. 1). In addition, appraisers and financiers believe that maintaining the 787 within GoldCare can enhance the value of the airplane across the lifecycle.
Figure 1: GoldCare adds value throughout an airplane’s lifecycle
GoldCare is designed to add value by allowing operators to reduce or eliminate their maintenance and engineering activities and focus on airline operations.
|Total GoldCare Value||Integration and
|GoldCare Added Value||Inventory|
|Direct Maintenance Costs||Flight Efficiency|
|Finance and Infrastructure|
A range of service options
Participating airlines can tailor GoldCare services to shape support packages that best fit their operations.
- Material Management is a core GoldCare offering. It eliminates the need for an airline to purchase and warehouse an initial provisioning of spares. Material Management integrates spare parts planning, ordering, supplier management, and component repair and overhaul. This service helps GoldCare customers better use resources, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies. By integrating the supply base into airline operations, GoldCare also allows suppliers to respond more efficiently to parts requirements, ensuring that the right part gets to the airline in a timely manner.
- Engineering provides the airline with a tailored maintenance program, monitors on-time performance, and maintains and tracks airplane configuration. GoldCare Engineering is designed to maximize a fleet’s value and efficiency.
- Planning and Control uses real-time airplane movement to continuously update scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events. This group helps maximize airplane availability through the use of Airplane Health Management (AHM), flight following systems, and efficient planning programs.
- Maintenance Execution. GoldCare provides parts and work instructions to a network of maintenance providers for line, base, and heavy maintenance activities.
GoldCare Enterprise, the full range of GoldCare services, offers the 787 operator a number of benefits (see fig. 2).
Figure 2: GoldCare benefits for 787 operators
Tapping into the data richness of the 787
Airlines choosing GoldCare Enterprise — the most comprehensive GoldCare offering — will be partnering with Boeing in operating their day-to-day maintenance and engineering activities.
GoldCare Enterprise uses the electronic log book to capture airplane problems and fault codes. Then, using the extensive data capture capabilities built into the 787, these fault codes can be electronically transmitted to maintenance personnel. The ground crew can accurately identify any problems with the airplane and pre-position parts and personnel, thereby minimizing the time the airplane spends on the ground. This remote management of real-time airplane data uses the capabilities of Boeing’s AHM service. (For more information on AHM, see AERO third-quarter 2007.)
By monitoring the airplane in real time, GoldCare can proactively anticipate problems, allowing more maintenance to be performed on a scheduled rather than an unscheduled basis.
GoldCare Enterprise also makes fleet planning and tracking more efficient for airlines because of Boeing’s integration into the airlines’ flight monitoring systems. Using visibility of their flight schedules and routing, GoldCare Enterprise takes advantage of the natural gaps in the flight schedule to plan and schedule maintenance for minimal flight schedule disruption.
When maintenance is required, GoldCare provides key stakeholders with full situational awareness of the status of the airplane. It brings the unique and detailed airplane knowledge of the original equipment manufacturer to every maintenance situation. That can result in more accurate troubleshooting, shorter repair times, and increased airplane availability.
Extending the GoldCare philosophy to other models
While GoldCare is designed specifically to leverage the advanced technical capabilities of the 787, a number of airline operators have asked Boeing about a similar fleet management offering for other airplane models. As a result, Boeing is working to expand GoldCare-type comprehensive services for additional Boeing airplane models.
GoldCare offers airlines a flexible new set of support services designed to maximize airplane availability and airline operational efficiency by ensuring that parts, materials, and services are deployed globally whenever they are needed.
For more information, please contact Jay Maloney.