Airframers OEMs and Infotech companies - Edgevarsity Blog Edgevarsity
Airframers OEMs and Infotech companies

Airframers OEMs and Infotech companies

We have heard of companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, Embraer, Pilatus etc. These companies are Aircraft manufacturers, and they are called Airframers.

Who is an OEM?

Not all parts (components) of the aircraft are manufactured by the airframer. They buy products and spares from experts who are specialized in such product manufacturing. These companies are called Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). 

The airframer is also referred to as airframe OEM.

Engineering graduates from branches such as Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Mechatronics, telecommunications, Instrumentation engineering and computer Science get employed in such OEM companies. 

Below are a few examples of OEMs with some of their products.

OEMProduct examples
Collins AerospaceNacelles, doors, flight controls, drive shafts, couplings, FADEC, Power distribution, Propeller system
Eaton AerospaceHydraulic components, Air distribution components, Fuel related components etc
GevenSeats, lavatory, Interiors, Floor panels
Honeywell AerospaceAltimeters, Antennas, AHRS, Air data computer, APU, Generator, Display electronics unit, , turbo fan engine, Weather Radar system
Moog Engine controls, flight controls, Servo valves, Solenoids, Sensors
Parker AerospaceHydraulic system components, Nitrogen Generation System
PPG AerospaceCoatings, Sealant, Adhesives, Aircraft windshields, lenses, windows

When the aircraft is assembled by the airframer, it is built with supplier-furnished equipment (SFE), and these are the materials and parts provided by the manufacturer. This means that engine OEM and component OEMs are chosen by the airframer.

For certain spares, the aircraft buyer gets the liberty to choose the OEM. Examples are seats and lavatories. These are called buyer-furnished equipment (BFE).

DGCA Civil Aviation requirements states that during aircraft maintenance, while installing any component on the aircraft, the Aircraft maintenance Engineer (AME) must ensure that the part being installed is referenced in the Aircraft Illustrated Parts Catalogue (AIPC / IPC), which is periodically revised and made available by the aircraft manufacturer. Students learn about different manuals during their Aircraft maintenance Engineering course.

What are the major documents required for aircraft maintenance?

IPC is an aircraft specific document and has reference to almost all the removable parts on that aircraft. Every part is identified by a part number. The procedure to remove or install these components are detailed in a document called the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) or Engine Maintenance Manual (EMM). The details of the subassemblies of OEM manufactured components are available in their respective Component Maintenance Manuals (CMM).

The information in IPC and AMM are sorted and arranged as per the ATA sequence. One can learn more details about ATA chapters by checking the linked article. 

Some Airframers and OEMs outsource the AMM, IPC and CMM manual preparation to Infotech companies. 

There are many other manuals required for maintenance. Some examples are Wiring Diagram Manual (WDM), Structural repair Manual (SRM), Non-destructive testing Manual (NDTM), Fault Reporting & Fault Isolation manual (FRM / FIM) etc. 

Some interesting facts that you must know

In aviation, it is essential to document the maintenance activities and execute the appropriate task. In this regard, these manuals should be simple and easy to understand.

Infotech companies employ engineering graduates who have aviation knowledge with exposure to aircraft documentation skills such as ASD-STE100. 

ASD-STE100 deals with Simplified Technical English by Aerospace and Defense Industries Association of Europe

To join infotech companies, one should have an awareness about how to write technical texts in a way that readers can easily understand unambiguously. These topics are an integral part of  online aviation maintenance courses.

by Sumanth Eswar

Ex Assistant Manager-Technical Services, Jet Airways

14 years of industry experience in various sections under Engineering and Maintenance department such as Engineering Planning, Technical Services Engineering including Structures, Cabin Maintenance, Airframe and Systems, Base Maintenance, Powerplant, Reliability, Aircraft Weighing, Rotable Management. Years of Safety Office experience and was a surveyor for Aircraft Insurance