The increasingly important area of IVHM technology informs existing concepts of vehicle maintenance, repair and overhaul by offering a total health check for high-tech, high-value vehicles such as aircraft, ships, high-speed trains and high performance cars. Additionally it is expected that there will be significant opportunity for application of this technology in the energy and health sectors. IVHM promises a leap forward towards a “no surprises” environment for through life vehicle operation, with consequent significant improvements in availability, reliability, customer service and business competitiveness.
The Boeing Company launched the Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Centre in 2008 and its current partners include Rolls Royce, Thales, BAE Systems, Meggitt and the Ministry of Defence. IVHM offers collection of technologies ranging from sensors to robust circuit design and includes complex algorithms to detect component deterioration, data transmission and automated analysis. Experimental facilities within the IVHM Centre include two state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with sensor networks, data acquisition, data mining and data management capabilities for condition monitoring of electronics. The Centre has capability for online communication between the Centre partners. Direct high-speed communication links the testing and hardware laboratories at Cranfield with those of partner organisations and industry test partners across the globe. The IVHM will perform research on the usage based prognostics of aerospace parts and take into account the special possibilities of the AM technology. They work on a methodology to start spare part production based on a usage related trigger. The condition monitoring and failure prediction capability developed for aircraft components will create a demand signal, which will allow the part to be manufactured using direct manufacturing techniques when a replacement is needed. The condition monitoring techniques will also assist in the certification of direct manufacturing technology for aircraft components.