In comparison to the other digital transformation fields, the maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) industry has evolved slowly. While technology has been used to improve the detection of damaged parts and streamline repair processes, maintenance is still a human activity that relies on touch. Technology has an impact only in the sense that it allows companies to realize the potential of their employees. The main task is determining how the workforce uses technology and its benefits.
New Technologies in MRO
Automation has been possible due to advancements in technology and software. That isn’t to imply that robots will replace existing aviation mechanics, but they will almost certainly assist them. It has the potential to lower aircraft operators’ and lessors’ MRO costs.
Here are some of the latest technologies that are already having a great impact on the MRO industry.
The use of advanced software is one of the technological advancements that are becoming increasingly present in the MRO. MRO software’s predictive ability is what has led to its widespread adoption in the sector. These custom-built programs help with maintenance planning and have recently been upgraded to include mobile access and cloud storage. The data collected from airplanes is processed at rapid rates to allow for cost-cutting and improved maintenance operations.
Technological advancement is allowing MRO robotics to be used for everything from single part repairs and carbon fiber machining to complicated inspection activities, allowing for the examination of hard-to-reach places.
One of the most demanding tasks is to inspect the exterior of the aircraft. MRO companies have been exploring into new methods of inspecting the outside of an aircraft that do not require a person to be lifted off the ground. Robotic technologies, which can inspect airplanes considerably faster and more readily than humans, are one area of great interest.
Automated inspections can cut inspection times in half, from hours to minutes, allowing qualified aircraft engineers to focus on more complex duties and lowering overall maintenance costs. Robots and drones in MRO have the ability to drastically reduce this time while also enhancing check accuracy, freeing up engineers’ time, lowering maintenance costs, and increasing safety.
Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. One of the key goals of augmented reality is to highlight certain elements of the physical world, increase knowledge of those features, and generate smart and accessible insight that can be used in real-life applications, amidst the rise of data collecting and analysis.
Boeing is testing augmented reality as a possible solution to give technicians real-time, hands-free, interactive 3D wiring diagrams – right before their eyes.
This technique will be a significant improvement over the typical 20-foot-long drawings that technicians must consult. The tests reveal a 90 percent improvement in first-time fixes and a 30 percent reduction in repair time, according to Boeing’s vice president of Digital Aviation and Analytics — that’s a big increase in operational efficiency!
The advancements are great, and the possibilities are boundless, thanks to ongoing improvements in technology. This is fantastic news for operators and MROs all across the world.
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