Adopting BOX Computer in the Core System for Aircraft Safety
The maintenance core system is essential for the safety of aircraft companies. Facing with the system reform, JAPAN AIR COMMUTER CO., LTD. (JAC) was required to extend the current system with limited budget due to severe financial condition of the Japan Airlines (JAL) group. BOX Computer of Contec was the one which cleared hard challenges such as security issues related to the end of OS support and regulations of JAL group.
JAPAN AIR COMMUTER CO., LTD. (JAC) was established in 1983 in Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture as a commuter airline to the remote southern islands of Japan. More than thirty years since then, JAC has been keeping no fatal accident record, and expanded its routes from Kagoshima Airport to locations in Western Japan and become part of the Japan Airlines domestic network. In 2000, an aircraft maintenance core system called "J-MAC" was developed and implemented to manage its aircraft by computer. "Currently, our maintenance team manages 25 aircraft, and we use J-MAC to manage nearly all the data required for safety maintenance of our aircraft on computers, including aircraft part management, engineering management, and maintenance planning." (Mr. Shin-ichi Iwamoto, Maintenance Management Group, Maintenance Management Division)
The system had been using Windows XP, and they had plans to completely reform the J-MAC system by 2014 when support for XP was scheduled to end. However, in 2011, since JAL group had harsh financial condition, JAC needed to change the initial plan and find another way to operate a system even after the end of XP support with limited budget for saving company.
At first, JAC considered the continued use of its existing devices with virtualized OS, but JAC could not apply it because of security issues in addition to Japan Airlines group restrictions. JAC then came across Contec‘s industrial computer with Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (WES 2009) installed, which would enable the use of software for Windows XP. "The issue was how much flexibility we would have in customizing it to our system. This Box Computer enabled us to create a highly flexible system with excellent durability with a fanless design. This computer was the closest solution to direction we wanted." (Mr. Iwamoto)
The J-MAC aircraft maintenance management system is at the heart of the JAC's aircraft maintenance
System configuration diagram
JAC decided to adopt WES 2009 installed BOX computer. Beginning in March 2014, approximately 70 computers have been installed. WES2009 is ideal for continuing the use of Windows XP systems and enables extended support up to January 8, 2019 (with product distribution up to January 8, 2024). What was the determining factor for adopting Contec's industrial computer for the current system shift besides this prolonging action?
"An important condition was to be able to prolong the life of the system to meet Japan Airlines group network regulations. Contec carefully listened to our requests and gave us a proposal, with a deep understanding of our needs. In the process of adopting, Contec lent us a computer for demonstration, and checked operation with us. They also carefully listened to our customization requests. Their fast response with good understanding was very reassuring. We found the Box Computer easy to use and customize efficiently that enables us to utilize white list security system and to customize Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) function (automatic OS update)(Mr. Iwamoto)
New benefits are also expected with BOX computers adoption.
"In the past, if we wanted to implement a new program, it would have to be installed individually into each terminal, so trips had to be made to each airport to install it in each terminal, In the future, the installation or changes to specifications can be done at Kagoshima (head office), and this is a huge advantage we look forward to.” (Mr. Iwamoto)
The compact A5 size is also very beneficial. The attractive fact is that it can be managed in a compact size for batch management similar to a server.
"The fact that the system change can be done comfortably is a huge advantage for our local workers. the system change created no work delays. This is a huge advantage, as the most important thing for operations is being able to continue use the system as usual without any hindrances." (Mr. Iwamoto
BX955 installed in the server room. The compact design saves space.
Box Computer BX-955S series
As the support period for Windows XP drew to a close, a shift of the core system for aircraft maintenance was needed within a limited budget. A reform of the core system was considered, but the difficult business environment of the Japan Airlines group led to a cut in the system migration budget, creating a need to investigate measures to prolong the life of the current system.
The BX955 industrial computer is able to meet to various requests by being customizable to JAC's needs along with the network regulations of the Japan Airlines group. Not only does it provide for smooth shift of the operating system without having to change operations on site, but added convenience is expected both in terms of security and maintenance.
The fanless, slitless design of the embedded computer protects the inside from dust, and the slim 35-mm body can be installed in the smallest of areas. This system can be used for various computing applications for high reliability, reduced cost, and compact design.
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