As any other industry that relies heavily on the latest, most efficient and secure technology, aviation, too, is looking to innovate on a constant pace. Big and small companies alike are working on technologies and solutions that pushes one step forward. Mainblades is one of those companies.
Our team recently attended this year’s edition of MRO Europe in London and caught a glimpse of some of the main trends in aviation. In the following article, we’re looking at those and putting our own special focus on inspections.
Drones gain prominence in aviation
There is no doubt that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can help optimise the flow of operations in many industries. In aviation, in particular, drone solutions are considered a key opportunity to performing time- and cost-effective aircraft inspections. Compared to inspections done by ground personnel, drone inspections are easier, faster and more accurate. Yet, tight regulations in the aviation industry are often the reason for such solutions to be adopted rather slowly and definitely much slower than the pace of the underlying technology itself.
“Drones are seen as a handy tool, but there is still an overwhelming skepticism in the industry with regard to further applications,” reads an article by Satair. “It’s widely agreed upon in the industry, however, that despite skepticism, progression seems inevitable.”
Companies like Mainblades, with our modular drone solution, are making sure that innovation in that specific sector does indeed take place and that UAVs become one of the primary methods of aircraft inspection in the future.
The rise of robotics
Robotics is another topic that has gained quite some prominence over the past years. The fact of the matter is that most Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) companies already implement robotics in their work. It is applied to various aspects of the MRO industry “from single parts repairs and carbon fiber machining to intricate inspection tasks through miniaturization, whereby robots can be used for the inspection of components that are otherwise difficult for humans to gain access to,” according to the abovementioned article.
Especially when it comes to routine tasks or tasks that require a high level of consistency or precision and accuracy, robotics have proven to be a suitable solution to standard approach. And that is not to say that such solutions are to replace manual labor overall, but rather improve the quality of the labor and the results.
On the contrary, the MRO market is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers and robotics is one way to maintain efficiency of operations in the sector. Enabling the aviation industry to perform easier and faster aircraft inspections is Mainblades’ contribution to achieving such greater efficiency.
The aviation industry is looking to start-ups and scale-ups
While the aviation industry may not have been as fast in adopting new technologies and innovations, there is no doubt that there has been a certain shift in mindsets in recent years. “While airlines and airports have traditionally turned to well established, decades-old suppliers for new products and services, many are now looking to the startup scene for their next wave of inspiration,” reads this article on the top 10 tech trends in aviation.
From designing solutions to handle luggage in an automated manner to using AI to help pilots make better informed decisions, there are plenty of opportunities to drive aviation further towards innovation. The same holds true for startups creating innovative solutions for aircraft maintenance. At the end of the day, the goal is to make a century-old industry adapt disruptive, new technologies faster and more easily.
“The thinking is relatively straightforward:” the article continues “the more forward-thinking airlines and airports are keen to work with the agile, fast-moving startups that could reshape the industry in the years ahead.”
The need for flexibility, speed and efficiency
Regardless of the industry segment a company operates, the need for agility and efficiency is becoming ever more prominent. Especially regarding airport field maintenance, there is an urgency to develop faster and more flexible solutions to lower aircraft on ground time (AOG) and increase productivity.
According to MarketWatch, there is a strong need for “time efficiency of ground operations delivered either by independent companies or the airport authority. That depends on technically advanced equipment, information support systems, and the coordination of staff.”
Innovative companies can contribute to the advancement of airport infrastructure and, more specifically, the way aircraft inspections are being performed. After all, a drone can help decrease the duration of inspections six-fold, resulting in a lot less time spent on the ground by airlines.
At Mainblades, we see the potential of automating aircraft inspections and provide a solution that can do that in an easy, safe and efficient way. To find out more about our solutions, get in touch with us.
Written by: Mina Nacheva