Augmented Reality Based Aircraft Maintenance Solution
A major Solution provider from North America for industrial and military sector wanted to develop an easy to use, efficient, and effective Maintenance instruction rendering solution, so that the maintenance personnel are prompted in real-time the steps to follow as well how to perform complex tasks correctly with out interruptions. The system will save the mechanic from being non-compliance of standard operating procedure and also generate audit trails of the maintenance conducted on the equipment.
- Gadgeon developed an AR based solution with Industrial grade smart glasses that renders the maintenance steps to be followed line by line.
- The mechanic can use voice to navigate the steps, make the SOP compliance and the maintenance error-free.
- The solution has the following major functional components:
- Server Application – manages the assignment of work to each technician and downloading of required set of manuals, images and videos to the AR headset.
- Glass Application - Android based application supports secure login, voice activated navigation through the maintenance manuals. The amount of time spent on each step is available for the supervisor to review.
Outcome and Benefits Delivered
- Voice activated navigation, head movements and gesture controls allows the mechanic to be hands-free, improves efficiency and reduces errors
- Leveraging images, videos, and AR content makes the maintenance of even the most complex parts efficient irrespective of the technician's experience level.
- In case of any issues during the maintenance session, two-way video call with remote technicians further enhanced the efficiency, accuracy, and faster ramping up of maintenance staff.
- Supervisors can review each mechanic's performance and make informed decisions on their training needs and performance reviews.
The Business Context and Challenges of the Customer
- Aircraft maintenance organizations, of all sizes, have many programs to help manage human error. Even after all the training, maintenance is still a headache for the aviation industry.
- The challenge starts from finding, training, and keeping qualified personnel and the list goes on. So it is necessary that to keep things up to date and to continuously ensure that instructions are compatible.
- The combination of insufficient rest, long working hours, and middle of the night maintenance activity significantly impact worker performance.
- Airlines and MROs rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to impact safety and financial decisions. MROs and airline maintenance organizations can count maintenance-caused delays or returns, rework, warranty issues, and more. Even with all this data, it is difficult to fully identify and understand the contributing factors of a maintenance discrepancy. For maintenance performance, human generated event reports are better than automated data collection.
System / Architecture Description
The Solution / System Description
The server application manages the work assigned to each technician. It downloads the required set of documents and associated images and videos to the AR headset. Supervisor users can assign tasks to maintenance technicians and review the tasks performed. History of all the maintenance work performed will be available in the server.
Android based glass application is developed on HMD hardware. Glass application supports a maintainer to login with <unique ID>. Once logged in, the maintainer will see the set of documents corresponding to the tasks assigned by the supervisor. He will be able to navigate the documents based on voice commands which leaves his hands free to do the work. Each step of the instruction can be navigated sequentially. The amount of time spent on each step is available for the supervisor to review.
Depending on the maintenance procedure, there may be linked images and videos. Maintainer can view images and play the videos by voice commands. He can also enter in to a 2-way video call with a technician using webrtc to debug specific issues.
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