MRO Magazine

Aircraft maintenance to be enhanced by innovative web-enabled expert system

Brampton, ON -- Nov. 19, 2001 -- The first web-enabled knowledge-management system for aircraft fault resolution is...


Brampton, ON — Nov. 19, 2001 — The first web-enabled knowledge-management system for aircraft fault resolution is now under development, thanks to a $3.2-million repayable Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) investment with CaseBank Technologies Inc., Canada’s Ministry of Industry has announced. The project is expected to create or maintain 243 jobs.

“With this investment, TPC is enhancing the successful niche role Canada has built in aircraft maintenance and diagnostics,” said Gurbax Malhi, Member of Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale, speaking on behalf of industry minister Brian Tobin. “This is important since our aerospace industry plays a key role in providing innovative solutions that benefit Canadians as we move forward in the knowledge economy.”

Established in 1996, TPC is a technology investment fund that contributes to the achievement of Canada’s objectives of increasing economic growth, creating jobs and wealth, and supporting sustainable development in many areas of technology.

CaseBank Technologies Inc. of Brampton, Ont., is a developer of case-based reasoning aircraft and engine diagnostic software solutions.

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BACKGROUNDER

CaseBank Technologies will develop a system that allows aircraft maintenance technicians to have online access to maintenance solutions that were previously kept in aircraft maintenance logs.

At the heart of CaseBank’s system is a case-based reasoning software product — Spotlight — that stores and delivers relevant lessons learned. Through interactive querying, the program actively leads the user to the best available information to assist with diagnostic decision making.

TPC’s investment will allow CaseBank to undertake the research and development necessary to enhance Spotlight and transform the system from one that works on a single type of aircraft to one that draws upon experience from many different types of aircraft.

Approximately 20% of aircraft faults are not solved by traditional diagnostic procedures. Using a case-based reasoning approach to fault isolation will assist technicians by significantly reducing the time and costs required to troubleshoot a problem.

In addition, it will also increase the probability that the fault analysis will be correct the first time, eliminating time and costs associated with testing and retesting. Case-based reasoning makes specialist know-how available to novices and builds a corporate memory by sharing individual experience. Web-enabling this technology allows for immediate updating, access from remote locations, and ease of use.

CaseBank expects to create or maintain 90 jobs in the research and development phase of the project and 153 in the benefits phase — for a total of 243 jobs. The company currently employs 25 people.

By Bill Roebuck, Editor