Pratt & Whitney began trials of its Connected Factory concept Nov. 5 at the company’s MRO facility in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park.

The engine manufacturer’s digital transformation initiative aims to increase efficiency and boost productivity using customized off-the-shelf software developed by Dassault Systèmes.

The project will include a “lighthouse” cell in the repair shop, implementation of intelligent scheduling and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) metrics, software adoption and sensor installation.

“This will give us good analytics on how the machines are running” and help prevent potential breakdowns, Pratt SD-aftermarket operations Asia Pacific Brendon McWilliam said.

The system, already in use at the company’s manufacturing plant in Connecticut, “will allow us to put engine parts through the most efficient flow and to cut down on bottlenecks,” McWilliam said.

The initial trial, including setup, will last about three months, followed by a six-month study of the relevant data.

Pratt plans to roll out the system to the remaining four facilities in Singapore by 2020 and at the company’s shops in New Zealand and China beginning in 2021.

Pratt has plans for the full digitalization of the shop floor with other initiatives, such as automated digital measurement, paperless work orders and digital material management, McWilliam said.

“A lot of companies are now looking at digital transformation and people are curious to see how these transformations will affect the end user,” he said. 

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com