The Duncan Aviation KnowledgeBase (DAK) collects, integrates, and cross-references every MRO procedure, process, and repair that Duncan Aviation technicians have performed, resulting in faster, more appropriate, and more reliable services to customers.
No matter how skilled an MRO may be, its capabilities are usually tied to its technicians’ knowledge base. When the most experienced of those technicians leave or retire, that knowledge can be lost to the MRO and its clients.
At the same time, problems that are new to some MRO technicians may have been resolved by other employees in the past. But unless this knowledge is actively shared across the company—with an ease of access akin to searching Google for answers—the first set of technicians may end up “reinventing the wheel” by solving the problem all over again.
With MRO facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah; engine Rapid Response Team launch offices in 17 cities; and Satellite Avionics technicians at 27 business airports, Duncan Aviation is the world’s largest privately owned business jet support facility. The company provides business aircraft operators with every aircraft service they need, delivered with the friendliness and responsiveness of a small-town company.
In order to retain technician knowledge and facilitate solution sharing across the company, Duncan Aviation has created the Duncan Aviation KnowledgeBase (DAK).
Containing more than 6 million unique pieces of information—with more being added every day—DAK automatically combs through Duncan Aviation’s work- orders, system databases, and other knowledge resources every night. Its mission is to mine data and capture best practices, processes, and solutions to various problems so that all of this knowledge is readily available to Duncan Aviation’s technicians.
“Our technicians search DAK for information to resolve issues, and the returns are ranked with the most probable results first,” said Rich Teel, Duncan Aviation’s R&D/IT Systems Programming Manager. “Using DAK, our team members can solve problems quickly for our customers, which reduces downtimes and labor hours.”
An important aspect of DAK is the ability of team members both to find information and record their own experiences, he noted. The system records technical data, pictures, and drawings. It also saves the technical notes that mechanics and tech reps have generated as they resolve issues.
For Duncan Aviation and its business jet clients, DAK saves time and money in many, many ways.
“Two of the biggest time-savers provided by DAK are searching past workorders for parts used during a workscope or past corrective actions taken for aircraft discrepancies,” said Duncan Aviation Airframe Tech Rep Mark Goertzen. “Having the ability to go back and search 10 years’ worth of workorder records is a great resource.”
“For anything from troubleshooting to resolving parts issues and comparing one job to another, we can go into DAK, fill in the info, do the search, and there it is,” said Duncan Aviation Falcon/Gulfstream Team Leader John Spevak. “It saves us time when looking for hard-to-find parts, reviewing previous troubleshooting on a system that has the same issues as what we’re working on, and quoting new jobs.”
The takeaway: “At Duncan Aviation, we are embracing technology to improve the efficiency of our technicians,” said Teel. “DAK provides them with the technical, historical, and analytical information they need to solve our customers’ problems faster than before.” THE SOLUTION • Constant collection/integration of MRO know-how results in faster, better repairs • Knowledge of veteran technicians is not lost when they leave or retire • Preserves expertise on the repair and servicing of older aircraft while adding knowledge related to new models over time