Does your business test aircraft components for flight worthiness? If so, it’s likely that you’re familiar with standard test equipment and it’s software. Three of the most common questions that our service engineers run into from software customers are: Why should I update my software? How do I know when it’s time to update my software? And how do I do it? We try to answer each of those questions in this article.
Component Maintenance Manuals
It probably helps to have a bit of background regarding why software needs to be updated at all. When the manufacturer of an aircraft component makes an update to it’s Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), the equipment used to test it must also reflect this change. It should be easy to tell which CMM your software is written to. In the header files of any software from Avtron, for example, there will be an indicator stating the CMM number, CMM version, and CMM date of that software. If this doesn’t match up with the most up-to-date CMM from the component manufacturer, you’re due for an update.
Changes to a CMM can range from minor to extensive changes in testing procedures. New CMMs may come with new testing software, bug fixes, improved processes, more detailed instructions, or any combination of these. Avtron always recommends that you test to the most current CMM. This will ensure that you are following all the latest and greatest testing procedures.
Another important note about Component Maintenance Manuals is that they include a standard troubleshooting guide for your equipment. New CMM versions may come complete with updated or improved guides, which will help your engineers if they run into issues. Newer editions of troubleshooting guides also reflect any new problems that the manufacturer has observed or fixed since the last CMM revision.
Staying Up To Date
How will you know when the CMM for a given flight component is updated? Well, that part gets complicated. Every company has a different process detailing how to handle the communication of CMM updates. Some manufacturers will notify you with regularity, others may only notify you when a change is made, and some still may not notify you at all. Your business’ quality department should have a standard procedure in place to ensure that your software remains up to date.
So what should you do when you find out that your CMM is not up to date? If you’re an Avtron customer, the process is pretty simple. All you need to do is contact our support engineers using the new portal on our website. The portal allows you to submit your information and receive an assigned case number from our support group. The system will also send you an email confirmation and alert our engineers of your request. Our team will then reach out to you to determine the extent of work required on your equipment.
Hopefully, this article answered any questions you may have had regarding software updates on aviation test equipment. Can you share any success stories or useful advice from your experiences? Leave a comment below or tweet us @AvtronAerospace.