Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Dallas, Texas has worked diligently to determine the best way for helicopter assembly and maintenance inspections to be documented. The meticulous documentation, components, and steps are to ensure the safety of both passengers and the public. When maintaining and overhauling gearboxes for Airbus Helicopters, workers were challenged with taking pictures, uploading images to a computer and documenting each step. Furthermore, workers had to use a detailed manual which was time consuming, distracting and cumbersome. The work day was not ergonomic with workers needing to get up and down throughout the day to complete documentation tasks and could cause workers to lose their train of thought.
To increase worker efficiency and to simplify the documentation process without sacrificing quality or safety, Airbus made the decision to work with Ubimax…
Airbus needed a way to get work steps, with pictures of parts into the field of vision of the worker hands free. Finding a simpler, streamlined, paperless approach to maintenance inspection of helicopter parts was necessary for improving safety and efficiency. Airbus also needed to have SAP integration, and the ability to take measurements. Besides, Airbus needed a camera that was high resolution in order to take the documentation of dynamic components, at times numbering 300 parts per gearbox. Finding an application and tool that could do all these tasks in one package was accomplished through introducing augmented reality and wearable computing in form of smart glasses to the inspection process.
Through utilizing the Ubimax Frontline solution xInspect in conjunction with the RealWear head mounted device HMT-1 workers are now able to improve their work quality and speed. The voice activation provides a simple to use solution that does not distract workers from their tasks. The HMT-1 has the ability for clear documentation, with high resolution as well as a flexible mounting option for the display. Manual uploads and paper copies were eliminated as the pictures taken via voice command are now uploaded directly to the computer. As Ubimax has created an interface to the SAP system, the process remains highly secure.
By integrating Ubimax solutions and smart glasses into the assembly process, Airbus Helicopters has shortened the gearbox inspection time by 40%. The whole work process was streamlined through system integration, and a documentation process that works intuitively, user friendly and paperless. Due to the paperless abilities of using AR solutions, Airbus eradicated all paper work required at the inspection stage. In addition, the SAP integration meant 100% data reliability, through the digitized data there can be no manual input errors. By using the turnkey solution, that supports SAP and the hardware they chose, they were able to be self-sufficient and give themselves a competitive edge.
This new process not only helped to improve production but the user experience and ergonomics for the workers. Airbus worked directly with the highly skilled staff to determine their needs and found a solution that they found useful.
Airbus now paves the way for other aerospace companies to reinvent their maintenance processes by fully digitizing.
40% faster in gearbox inspection
Zero manual input errors