Inspection Process Management

Period of Performance: 04/02/2009 - 01/02/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aspire Solutions, Inc.
323 W Spring St
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator


The objective of this proposal is to develop an inspection management tool that standardizes both the inspection process and the inspection data. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) current processes are manual, paper based methods that rely heavily on the individuals experience to properly identify the defect and log it. This research would create a tool that would improve the inspection process by first developing techniques to standardize the procedures to ensure all personnel know how to properly inspect an area. Secondly, the research will focus on ways to ensure that all defects are properly logged in a standardized format enabling detailed root cause and trend analysis. Because of the age, the many subsystems found, and the size of the aircraft the research will focus on ways to tailor the solution to meet the flexibility that is needed to address the complexity associated with aircraft inspections. This research will utilize heuristic optimization strategies and be designed to enable the OC-ALC to react to the short lead-time environment common with its unpredictable repairs. BENEFIT: By integrating heuristic optimization techniques into our inspection management model, our tools will have the ability to reduce flow days, reduce operating expenses, increase response time, and increase employee flexibility. Our approach would also enable management to constantly monitor the operations and perform root cause and trends instantly without the long lead-time required of todays data mining requirements. The tool will be designed using key variables identified by each organization enabling the tool to be utilized across a wide array of environments. The tool can be applied to any environment that has inspection requirements or point of use data collection requirements. Within DOD, it has a huge opportunity to improve the field level data used by every branch to model supply chain requirements ranging from inventory levels to repair cycles. Programs like CBM (Condition Based Maintenance) are severely limited without accurate data. Outside DOD, the solution has a wide array of application anywhere point of use data collection is required in industries like telecommunications, utilities, and energy. Other opportunities exist within many different types of repair organizations, disaster response, and custom manufacturing companies.