A large regional airline was experiencing excessive flight delays due to sluggish winter de-icing operations, having a direct impact on revenue and profitability. The de-icing process was slow due to excess equipment breakdowns and inadequate supplies of de-icing fluid. Additionally, since de-icing fluid is a hazardous material, the FAA was requiring extensive reporting and compliance.
The airline requested their de-icing truck supplier, Premier Deicers, develop and deploy a real-time fluid management system for the company’s products. In response, Premier selected GPS and J1939 CanBUS monitoring hardware to retrofit on to existing vehicles and integrate in to new products. The hardware captures engine diagnostics, de-icer fluid volume from onboard storage tanks, and job-based fluid dispensing data from the fluid dispensing apparatus. Additionally, the central airport storage tank was outfitted with a monitoring system. After a vendor review, Autodesk® Fusion Connect was selected as the management platform.
The integrated solution now measures, by aircraft tail number, how long a de-icing job is taking and how much fluid is consumed. This data is compared with fluid levels in the central storage tank and the system balances central fluid supply with mobile tanks on vehicles, resulting in less fluid purchasing. The Autodesk Fusion Connect system also monitors vehicle engine performance to predict likely engine or mechanical truck failures. Further, FAA-ready reports are e-mailed from the solution to key users for regulatory compliance.
The de-ice cycle was accelerated 40%, resulting in more on-time departures for the airline and dramatically increased revenue protection. Premier Deicers gained new revenue streams from the customer and has dramatically separated their product and service offerings from the competition.