Complex-Process Solutions

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 JSF utilizes CaseBank’s SpotLight application, known as the Anomaly Fault Resolution System, as an off-board diagnostic solution. Photo: US Air Force.

from CaseBank Technologies Inc.

When it comes to diagnostic-troubleshooting software, aerospace executives across the continent turn to CaseBank’s innovative technology. Founded in 1998 in Mississauga, Ontario, by Tony O’Hara, Mark Langley, and Phil D’Eon, the company provides practical and reliable knowledge and maintenance data-analysis software solutions to Fortune 1,000 companies, including Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, and Lockheed Martin.

The company was initially focused solely on aerospace, due to the upper management’s extensive experience working in that field. But shortly after its inception, CaseBank branched out to other industries as well, providing troubleshooting solutions for heavy equipment, oil and gas, energy, and medicine.

CaseBank utilizes its expertise to help its clients maintain their complex systems and equipment, maximizing their availability and revenue-generation capability. “Both the company and its clients benefit from the reuse of practical experience,” D’Eon says. The company offers three popular software solutions—SpotLight Web, SpotLight Mobile, and ChronicX Manager—that demonstrate the company’s extensive knowledge and innovative troubleshooting expertise.

SpotLight Web

Diagnostic-troubleshooting tool

With years of experience as aircraft troubleshooters, CaseBank’s cofounders recognized the flaws of existing troubleshooting aids: they were far from complete in their ability to help accurately and efficiently diagnose the elusive problems in complex systems.

“The individual who was facing a problem didn’t always have the knowledge that this problem existed before, and, as a result, they would treat it as a new problem and start from the ground up when, in fact, they didn’t need to,” D’Eon says.

CaseBank purchased all rights to the SpotLight technology that it had developed as a special-purpose project within Atlantis Aerospace in 1998. Through this technology, CaseBank was able to bring the knowledge of previous aircraft faults to the attention of technicians during troubleshooting. SpotLight identifies the cause of a problem by asking intelligent questions and utilizing a discrete “reasoning engine”—a horizontal technology with application throughout a variety of industries and market sectors—to relay troubleshooting knowledge to the technician.

The program was met with instant praise from companies across the world and continues to be adopted by many of the world’s largest manufacturers of complex equipment. “The product is well respected and well adopted,” O’Hara says, “and the company is starting to become much more successful as a result of that.”

SpotLight Mobile

Mobile troubleshooting tool

As laptops and smartphones began to grow in popularity, CaseBank started investigating ways to make its celebrated SpotLight technology more mobile. Five years ago, it began offering it at the laptop level, allowing technicians to utilize the software while working on the affected equipment at the jobsite. “Since then, we’ve moved on to smartphones and other mobile devices,” O’Hara says.

“SpotLight Mobile was really enabled by the third generation of smartphones,” D’Eon adds.
The program operates utilizing the same knowledge databases as the main SpotLight Web application, but it manages the screen displays more appropriately for portable devices. It works on Android smartphones, iPads, iPhones, and other similar products, granting its users convenient, real-time access to the most relevant experience in the world, right at the point of repair.

O’Hara says that the technology is flexible in its deployments with users. “It is our intention to let the users choose their technology, and be able to run SpotLight seamlessly across various platforms,” D’Eon says. It is a prime example of how the company continues to evolve and adapt to the burgeoning technology trends.

ChronicX Manager

Web-based analysis service

One of CaseBank’s long-standing airline customers came to the company with a suggestion in 2010. He pointed out that repeating faults often occur in airliners without attracting the necessary attention of maintenance staff—as the machines are typically flown by multiple pilots from city to city, the repeating nature of a fault might not be obvious to any one person.

The customer then suggested that CaseBank Technologies utilize the same technique it relied upon internally to develop its knowledge databases—a technology that automatically analyzed the aircraft records to identify valuable experience for SpotLight knowledge databases—to provide the airline with early warning indicators of repeating problems in real time. With such technology in place, the airline could then be more proactive in resolving repeated problems and therefore averting many future flight delays and cancellations.

CaseBank extracted that part of its technology and developed it into a web-based data-analysis service called ChronicX Manager.

“We offer it as a service as opposed to a turnkey product,” O’Hara says. It is currently in beta test with two large airlines, and new features are continually being added.  _a