Pratt & Whitney uses FileMaker Pro to keep airline engines humming

Busy distribution center for a world leader in the manufacture of jet engines keeps data organized with FileMaker Pro

Business Challenge
Located in Narita, at Japan's primary international airport, Pratt & Whitney's Asian Distribution Center is a hub for an essential element of the manufacturing process. The company is one of the top three major manufacturers of jet engines for large airliners. Most of the major airlines of the world are Pratt & Whitney customers and in order to comply with US Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the company is required to perform airworthiness inspections on all engine components before releasing them to their airline customers in this region. That inspection process is meticulous, with every step thoroughly documented. And it's a process requiring an extensive database system. The Center has been using FileMaker Pro for more than fourteen years, and chose FileMaker Pro for its quick development time and for the ability of end users to make simple modifications to the database structures.

Successful Solution
FileMaker Pro is at the heart of many functions at the Asian Distribution Center and is used to run all aspects of the center. Some of the key functions that FileMaker Pro supports include the process of producing airworthiness certificates to jobs like personnel administration.

According to the company, FileMaker is so important to the smooth operation that one of its staff members has become a certified FileMaker developer. Although the Center also uses Pratt & Whitney's worldwide SAP system, FileMaker allows the company to quickly develop solutions for the areas where SAP is lacking and which would take its headquarters computer department years to implement solutions.

Customer Benefits

Because the center serves the Asian market, language issues are always an important consideration. And this is another area in which FileMaker excels.

FileMaker Pro supports Unicode and also includes all the calculation functions and special features necessary for handling data in Japanese and creating Japanese–language user interfaces (as well as Chinese and Korean). The company sees this as a tremendous benefit because it allows staff to develop a database first in English and then deploy in Japanese.

Another benefit realized by Pratt & Whitney database development is found in the easy–to–use implementation of relational features in FileMaker Pro, making it much easier for beginning developers to understand relational design without requiring any formal training in database design.

More recently, the company reports that the built–in charting capabilities of FileMaker Pro 11 have greatly speeded up their monthly reporting proces