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Vitrek-MTI Instruments Solving MRO Technician ShortageVitrek-MTI Instruments PBS eXpress
Vitrek-MTI Instruments

How We Are Helping Solve The MRO Technician Shortage

Prior to the COVID pandemic, the average age of a highly trained aircraft technician was 57. The airline industry, like so many others, reacted to the pandemic by reducing operations and offering early retirement as way of balancing the workforce with demand. Now the airline industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and thanks to the early retirement of senior MRO technicians, the industry is experiencing a shortfall in its population of qualified personnel.

The Problem

Not enough young mechanics are joining the trade. Exacerbating the situation is the extensive training and dated equipment aspiring technicians must contend with before they can join the workforce.

While the number of prospects in the mechanic pipeline needs to grow by at least 20% to meet industry’s needs, national enrollment at Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) schools is only growing at about 2% per year. Supply deficit by 2027 projected at more than 48,000 aircraft maintenance workers – 27% lower than needed. This shortage is based on the projected growth of the aircraft MRO industry. Research projects that the global aircraft fleet will grow from 28,000 to over 38,000 by 2032.

The Solution

MRO tasks are being simplified and streamlined thanks to advancements in computing, the miniaturization of sensors and electronics, and better battery technology, combined with flatscreens and touch-enabled displays. With the loss of experienced, senior-level technicians, having the availability of these high-tech tools to streamline tasks and reduce time and manpower can work to alleviate the technician shortage.

One outstanding example of this trend is the PBS eXpress, an aircraft engine vibration analysis and balancing system from MTI Instruments that runs advanced algorithms to record vibration and speed and generates a one-shot balancing solution for small-frame turbofan and turboprop engines, commonly used in regional business jets and general aviation. The portable, handheld PBS eXpress is based on the same technology as the company’s well-known PBS-4100+ products and adds a modernized touchscreen and other advanced functionality. This includes Balance Wizard technology that significantly streamlines the diagnostic and balancing process. The system’s intuitive user interface enables first-time users to perform vibration analysis and engine rotor balancing, with minimal training. Perhaps even more important, the PBS eXpress enables a single technician to perform the procedure that would otherwise require two techs.

The PBS eXpress is easy to set up. With preconfigured engine parameters, simply connect cables and begin testing. The unit has an intuitive touch-based user interface and guides even first-time users to success in as little as two engine runs.

View this product at vitrek.com