Airlines are begging engine manufacturers for more reliable technology. They hate taking a plane out of service for engine trouble. Perhaps AI will be the solution that improves reliability. Or maybe not.
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc will team up with U.S. artificial-intelligence specialist Uptake Technologies Inc. in a move aimed at improving the reliability of its aircraft engines.
Uptake’s predictive analytics and machine-learning technology should help boost the in-service time and overall availability of Rolls’s Trent family of jetliner turbines, the London-based company said in a statement Tuesday.
Rolls-Royce has been grappling with a series of glitches with engines that power the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner and Airbus SE’s revamped A330neo. While Chicago-based Uptake’s technology won’t resolve design and manufacturing issues, it could help Rolls track their impact for customer airlines.
The U.K. company has been using data analytics as a part of its TotalCare service package for years, but expects Uptake’s input to further extend the life if its engines and decrease down time, said Tom Palmer, senior vice president of services at the group’s civil-aerospace arm.
Production glitches came to light with the Trent 1000 engine in 2016, before being detected in its sister turbine, the Trent 7000, this year. The issues have frustrated Chief Executive Officer Warren East’s efforts to turn around one of Britain’s few remaining industrial juggernauts.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
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Photo Credit: British Airways is a major Rolls-Royce customer. Its Boeing 787s, including the one pictured here, carry the manufacturer's engines. British Airways
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