Title: An evaluation of forecasting methods for aircraft non-routine maintenance material demand

Authors: Maarten Zorgdrager; Wim J.C. Verhagen; Richard Curran

Addresses: Air Transport & Operations, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands ' Air Transport & Operations, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands ' Air Transport & Operations, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: Aircraft maintenance can be divided into routine and non-routine activities. Material demand associated with non-routine maintenance is typically intermittent or lumpy: it has a large variance in frequency and quantity. Consequently, this type of demand is hard to predict. This paper introduces a method to collect time series datasets for aircraft non-routine maintenance material demand. Non-routine material consumption is linked to scheduled maintenance tasks to gain insight in demand patterns. A structural part selection of the Boeing 737NG fleet of an aviation partner has been sampled to generate various test cases. Subsequently, various forecasting methods are applied to these test cases and evaluated using various accuracy metrics. For the small time series datasets associated with non-routine maintenance, exponentially weighted moving average (EMA) outperformed smoothing methods such as Croston's method (CR) and the Syntetos-Boylan approximation (SBA). To validate the practical applicability of EMA for non-routine maintenance material demand, the method has been applied and verified in the prediction of actual demand for a separate maintenance C-check.

Keywords: aircraft maintenance; demand forecasting; lumpy demand; exponential smoothing; Croston's method; non-routine maintenance; exponentially weighted moving average; EMA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2014.065354

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2014 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.383 - 402

Received: 03 Dec 2013
Accepted: 01 May 2014

Published online: 22 Oct 2014 *

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