Boeing

Analytics in Bangalore

Tom Grandine

ADDING IT ALL UP
Boeing's technology team in India provides software engineering and analytics support to a worldwide business increasingly dependent on new and larger amounts of data.

Photo: Boeing

Tapping into data science and software talent from the “Silicon Valley of India”

By Pattada Kallappa, system, support and analytics manager
Boeing India Engineering and Technology Center

In today’s digital world, all devices, buildings, vehicles and human beings are looked upon as a source of data from which we can extract information to make day-to-day life easier, safer and more efficient.

The modern factory, aircraft and airport is equipped with thousands of sensors or other measurement devices that collect data related to its operational and environmental conditions. The Boeing 787 alone has more than 7,000 sensors to record parameters like flight path and cabin humidity throughout the entire flight.

The advent of fast and distributed computing has enabled storage and near real-time analysis of this data. These data analytics are focused on generating actionable insights to drive improvement. With the launch of its AnalytX platform in 2017, Boeing has taken a leap into the world of data analytics and “Big Data,” with a focus on making our aircraft faster, more efficient and passenger friendly.

Across the globe, Boeing data scientists at various sites are working to develop tools and methods that will extract actionable insight from this data for Boeing and its customers. The Boeing India Engineering and Technology Center (BIETC), located in Bangalore, India, is one such site. Launched in 2016, BIETC’s access to high-end software and data analytics talent in India’s Silicon Valley has made it a hub of the company’s global work in these areas.

For example, using state-of-the-art big-data technology, the BIETC team has developed a data analytics framework that analyzes aircraft data at high speed to provide insights to our airlines. Collaborating with Boeing’s flight data management systems and airplane health management teams in Seattle, we have deployed this framework in the “computing cloud.” The framework will be offered as a service to airlines, where they can use its predictive analytics service to preemptively repair planes and avoid costly grounded-aircraft situations. In the cloud environment, this streaming data analytics framework can be scaled up to process data from thousands of flights, the moment they land—and save customers millions of dollars.

These same analytics tools are being applied internally to achieve efficiencies. For example, we have also developed an energy analytics and management software tool, which has the potential to reduce energy consumption across our Everett, Washington site. Developed using state-of-the-art data integration methods and machine learning algorithms, this software monitors and displays energy consumption patterns and provides the operations team with actionable insights to reduce energy consumption in buildings and factories.

The importance of BIETC’s capacity to provide data analytics and predictive artificial intelligence expertise to partners and customers around the globe will also continue to grow as Boeing embarks on transformative air mobility endeavors—and as the world’s digital transformation and Internet of Things become ever more ubiquitous.