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Each of them has a Go Team and mobile service units to support aircraft in the field.

AM: Is Cessna’s worldwide field operations organization associated with the service centers? Reich: We have field service engineers – about 60 folks – supporting aircraft in regions around the world. They have no formal ties with the service centers. They have face-to-face customer contact in the field to support customer issues. The propeller side of the business is different. For that side we have the network of roughly 350 worldwide, authorized service facilities in addition to the field service engineers.

AM: Tell us about technical information sales and distribution. Reich: We’re not responsible for the content in the technical publications but rather their sales and distribution. The frontend may take an order for a publication; then it goes into our system. We also print the supplements and updates to publications internally, and we take care of subscription services and the monthly mailings, including illustrated parts catalogs, maintenance manuals, service bulletins and other materials.

AM: Do you provide input for the publications’ content? Reich: We have a very close relationship with the authors in the technical publications group. We’ve moved them into the C10 building [which houses the Wichita Citation Service Center] that we’re in, to have a direct tie to those folks. We also implemented last year our Super Cube, which is a group of individuals from different disciplines – such as CSP&P, engineering, technical publications and the product support organization – who work together to expedite the release of service information. With the Super Cube, we’ve seen a dramatic improvement [in providing service information] from initial concept to delivery.

AM: Are you working toward publishing material in electronic form? Reich: We’re looking at alternate ways of delivering technical publications. Right now, we use a product called Cesview IIi, an electronic-based system. It’s not on-line, but it gives you access to all the publications and manuals via a DVD relative to a model of aircraft, and it does have interlinks between the manual. So if you’re looking up something in the IPC [integrated parts catalog], it will drive you back into a section of the maintenance manual or other service publication. We’re looking at how we can distribute the

“A lot of people look at design-for- manufacture ability but we spend a lot of time looking at design for maintainability”

updates to Cesview IIi via an electronic method, and we have some projects in the works this year with regard to managing publications on-line from a subscription standpoint. Ultimately, one of my goals is to build a timeline this year of when we can truly publish a publication that is on-line and always up to date. It’s not there yet but it’s an objective of mine.

AM: From a maintenance engineering and product support perspective, what are some of your group’s other activities? Reich: We’re doing a lot of different things in maintenance engineering. It’s where the MSG [Maintenance Steering Group] program lives. Our maintenance engineering group is responsible for adding programs to the MSG-3 criteria, as well as maintaining existing programs as we see changes in the requirements for inspections. MSG is an industry group that agrees to the maintenance tasks to be performed based on risk analysis and cost basis associated with components. The responsibility of writing the [MSG] documents and managing them with industry lives within my group. We therefore also work in advance design and are part of the core team that helps in the development of new products. We’re represented there from a customer service standpoint, making sure that new products or systems are being designed the best we can in terms of maintainability in the field.

Within maintenance engineering we also have customer change management. There are multiple reasons for change, for example, again, the challenge of supporting a diverse fleet. When a supplier is no longer available, this requires implementation of change, whether it is a straight parts swap or whether it requires service-bulletin activity because of different form, fit or function. We have core teams that manage that process, which ultimately is fed into the Super Cube to make sure [the change] works. Then we publish it to the field.

AM: Would you give an example of how maintenance engineering and product support assist in the design work? Reich: Right now, there’s a lot of work on how to record information coming off the airplane. We [Cessna] implemented a system called AReS [Aircraft Reporting System]. Now our technicians can look at data from the aircraft and see what the

36 Aviation Maintenance | | June / July 2011

configuration of the airplane was at the time an issue was identified, [i.e.] was a system on or off? It helps us troubleshoot a problem. Our [maintenance engineering] group is responsible for helping to develop systems like AReS because it’s an after- market, after-delivery support method but it’s also a design function on the airplane. From a human-factors perspective, we also work close in the advanced design of airplanes to make sure that we’re putting key components in areas that are easy for maintenance technicians to get to. A lot of people look at design-for-manufacture ability but we spend a lot of time looking at design for maintainability.

AM: All told, how many people are you responsible for? Reich: It’s about 175.

AM: How do you see the bizjet support market? Is it growing? Reich: I think in these times, it hard to tell if it’s growing or if we’re catching up from the last two years. We’re definitely seeing improvement in the support services side. When we look at average daily utilization [ADU] of the fleet, it picked up a little in mid to late 2010. We saw it stabilize, but it’s still pretty flat. But we saw maintenance activity pick up more than that ADU would indicate. We think the maintenance activity is

from a couple of areas: One, there is probably pent-up demand. Operators have deferred certain things and now they’re moving forward to do those things they’ve meant to do along. Also, we’re seeing increased maintenance because of the MSG program, which some of these aircraft have been converted to. Instead of doing just a straight annual [inspection], there are task inspections involving various aspects of the plane. Well, when we implemented those, it put some of the heavier maintenance down stream. So we’ve started to see that activity reach fruition probably in mid- to late-last year. Overall, we see things that indicate some positive outlook for the business market, but I think people are a little bit restrained to saying we’re out of the recession. But we’re definitely holding our own at this point.

AM: Can you comment on support activity for the propeller aircraft? Reich: We don’t really have a measurement for ADU of that fleet because we don’t have a recording mechanism for the propeller folks. But there are key components that give an indication and I would say right now, support for those aircraft is probably pretty flat. We’re not seeing significant growth or increased utilization.


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