EXAMPLE: The Innovation Bay of LHT (major source: LHT corporate website)
LHT INNOVATION BAY(S)
On Malta, Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is testing the MRO future: Whether drone-based inspections of the aircraft skin, mobile 3D scanners or exoskeletons, the innovation bay at Lufthansa Technik Malta will put the latest aircraft overhaul technologies to the test over the next few years.
The clear objective: Every technology that proves itself in practice on the shop floor will immediately be integrated in the local work process, quickly rolled out to all other base maintenance locations of Lufthansa Technik (LHT) and then used for all checks and aircraft types.
When it comes to the technologies, LHT relies on cooperations with both flexible start-ups and established companies. One current project consists of comparing mobile 3D scanners that can be used for detailed measurements of structural damage.
Another project tests the use of drones to inspect the aircraft skin during general visual inspections. And exoskeletons from different providers are being examined to make physically strenuous and ergonomically disadvantageous work easier on employees. Further technologies for other fields of application will follow as time goes on.
All technologies are tested directly in the hangar during actual aircraft checks.
They are selected on the basis of top trends as well as the day-to-day requirements and challen-ges of the colleagues on site. The aim is to improve base mainte-nance processes and use the improved processes at all loca-tions as quickly as possible. This not only saves time and money; it also ensures that the new technologies are already accepted by the colleagues when they are introduced.
LHT is planning to add further innovation bays to the base maintenance network in addition to Malta, like Frankfurt and Hamburg. Thanks to these innovation bays and new technology partnerships, LHT is improving its work processes and making an important contribution to shortening aircraft layovers for its airline customers.
AVIATAR complements LHT`s Innovation Roadmap.
AVIATAR is an innovative and holistic platform that offers an extensive variety of digital products and services for MRO by combining multiple apps, web-based, and in one place.
The main characteristics of our platform are:
OPEN – AVIATAR lives from the conjunction of visionaries. That is why LHT invites everybody – partners, clients, developers – to co-create the future of Aviation or to connect their app to LHTs portfolio.
NEUTRAL -Additionally, the platform shall be independent from the major aircraft OEMs, such as Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier and COMAC. AVIATAR aligns to our client’s specific, technical requirements – it is not only an OEM-spanning platform, but also independent of Lufthansa as platform sponsor.
MODULAR – Users, such as airlines, MROs, OEMs, or lessors, can benefit from the platform’s modular approach. The platform serves as a central and connecting hub for apps that offer digital products and services for the aviation industry. But AVIATAR is not a set bundle of apps. Specified to the individual needs, LHT`s clients can select from those apps and choose the ones they prefer. But each app can also be used as a standalone product too.
The digitalisation journey starts with seven apps – all designed to fulfill the user’s first needs. “Fleet Management” and “Per-formance Metrics” pro-vide basic features needed by our clients to overview their fleet and key perfor-mance indicators in real-time. (Chart: Lconnect by LHT)
The combination of “Condition Analytics”, “Fault Analytics” and “Predictor Plugins” enables clients to monitor their fleet, analyze their data and predict maintenance ahead of time. LHT`s first 3rd party app, “Record Status” by FLYdocs, displays the complete-ness of your records and at the same time reflects how the integration of apps can work on our platform.
While each single app provides value in its stand-alone version, it is the interplay of multiple apps, which creates the unique value proposition for the individual user.
Through its joint platform, AVIATAR provides a seamless user experience and exchange of information across interfaces. It aggregates as well as centralizes information at one central place. The platform applies analytical models to provide new insights, recommendations and notifications, enabling our clients to make faster and better decisions.
Furthermore, LHT`s platform gains a unique benefit from the frequent growth of its user base. One example is LHT`s app “Reliability Benchmarking”, which will allow operators to benchmark their technical reliability anonymously against the world’s leading airlines.
Only with the integration of the users at one place, AVIATAR can create unique insights for all of them.
Ultimately, AVIATAR rewards its users through the optimization of operating hours, reduced consequential costs and safer as well as more reliable fleet operations.
In fact, experte foresee e.g. a reduction of man-hours needed for MRO projects by 50%.
Based on Aircraft health monitoring systems, predictive maintenance (see above) is enabled by digital warehouse solutions offerings, which are becoming the new standard in the MRO Industry over time.
Harvesting the benefits of AR-Systems – In contrast to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality offers users additional information in real time over and above what they actually perceive. This thus allows the real world to be combined with the virtual world and real spatial worlds to be supplemented by virtual elements and data. Today, companies are already using AR as a core technology for enriching and complementing reality with computer-generated contents.
This way of percei-ving reality allows innovative proce-dures and methods to be implemented for optimizing produc-tion, maintenance and inspection pro-cesses.
For instance, mobile laser projection systems can be positioned and aligned flexibly in the aircraft fuselage in line with the respective installation situation. The installation template is projected onto the work environment for the relevant structural employee in line with the emplo-yee’s current job card. This template corresponds to the component contours selected in the virtual 3D model, which are projected onto the structure in the correct position and therefore act as a positioning and alignment aid for the component that is being installed. With no interruptions or other interactions, the employee can install the component with high precision and significantly more efficiently than using conven-tional alignment tools.
VR/AR technologies have been used in both commercial aviation and the military for simulated training for several years, but only now are experts seeing them implemented to fulfil a key requirement in maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) – addressing the shortage of skilled engineers. In fact, the expensive, highly regulated and time-consuming technical training currently cannot keep pace with the HR demand. VR/AR solutions ease the leverage of know how in real time and therefore, mobilizes Expertise across the airlines global operational networks, while Gather valueable data for Analytics same time.
The ongoing Digitization of Cabin Interior is another mega trend in the aviation Industry all market players are fostering.
This exciting topic might be subject to another Blog entry soon.
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