Asia Pacific is projected to be the world’s largest aviation market in 20 years, which brings good news for Singapore’s aerospace ambitions.
At the recent Singapore Airshow, industry partners shared their latest aviation innovations and how companies of all sizes can take flight in this fast-growing industry.
A major part of the process of getting planes up in the air is the inspection by the ground crew.
Ground crews need to physically inspect a plane for surface defects, among other things. Even seemingly minor flaws, such as loose rivets or tiny cracks, can cause the plane to malfunction mid-flight.
The thorough nature of plane inspections means that the process can take up to a week, making it cost-consuming. However, this no longer needs to be the case.
To make things easier, British engineering giant, Rolls-Royce, is co-creating a collaborative robot with scientists from A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC).
The robot can complete engine inspections within minutes, while maintaining the same level of reliability and sensitivity as human inspectors.
Designed to be highly adaptable to a variety of real-world variations, the collaborative robot can run 24/7 and be monitored digitally.
This eliminates human error and enables more efficient management, planning and review of the plane inspection process.
Boeing on its part is collaborating with scientists at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) to develop a laser tool system that can quickly identify heat damage by checking how fast heat dissipates across the panel.
The new tool is more user-friendly to plane maintenance crews and is not only substantially cheaper but more efficient – its small size allows multiple tools to be fitted and used at the same time, which reduces the time it takes to analyze heat damage.