As airlines return capacity after a battering from the coronavirus crisis, Collins Aerospace believes it is important that MRO services move quickly to digitalise.
Henry Brooks is Collins’ president for power and controls. Speaking to FlightGlobal at the Singapore air show, he says the “digitalisation of our MRO network is a big deal” for the company.
“We want to make sure that we [have] automated vision systems so that we can inspect things that are coming to us a lot faster, we want to make sure that we’ve got the [radio frequency identification] so that we can identify [parts] quicker, we want to make sure that we’ve got automated guided vehicles as well, and other activities like that robotics, automation,” he adds.
Beyond these solutions which will help speed up maintenance, Brooks points out that the increasing use of data helps Collins “have the information that we need … to actually create the digital models that we need”.
He tells FlightGlobal that a “closed loop” system of managing the data will also allow Collins to “engineer a better product” for its customers.
Citing examples like virtual and augmented reality systems, Brooks adds that digitalisation can help in MRO training. “[Part] of our job is to make sure that we’re helping [our customers] with… their job instructions, and so forth… through augmented reality and virtual reality. [We] can transmit information more seamlessly and give better and clearer instructions on how to take care of the products,” he says.
Brooks makes it clear that digitalisation has to run through different aspects of the MRO chain.
“[The] data is the key, right? So what we need is to make sure that we’ve got the right data on the airplane, that we’re getting the right data from the airplane, to actually enable all of these features that we want to do,” he adds.