Rolls-Royce has taken the next step of its vaunted digital strategy by announcing a new technology to analyse maintenance data.
The British OEM is preparing to demonstrate part of ‘Intelligent Insights’ a suite of tools launched under its ‘IntelligentEngine’ program.
The first of those tools, ‘Technical Insight’ uses natural language processing techniques to read engine maintenance logs, combining its findings with cloud-based inputs from other data sources.
“Insights are then delivered via visualisation tools for the line maintenance environment in an easy-to-use app, and via the Rolls-Royce Care portal,” says the OEM in a statement.
If it works as intended, the new tool should make mechanics’ lives much easier, removing the need to cross-check various sources of information and presenting important data in an accessible manner.
The main goal is to improve dispatch reliability, but it will also be interesting to see how the new technology contributes to wider aims such as lifecycle management.
Rolls-Royce’s R2 Data Labs, an acceleration hub for data innovation launched in December 2017, will play a key role in achieving these goals, as will Rolls-Royce’s partnership with Microsoft, which is intended to boost the company’s cloud computing capabilities.
Rolls-Royce has said it open to working with smaller companies and open-source software as well.
“There is an advantage in the agility and pace that small companies can provide,” Tom Palmer, senior vice-president for services, civil aerospace, told Engine Yearbook last year.
“The whole open-source approach is very exciting: the ability to grab and develop different applications, from a similar data set. Our technology will be open to that sort of partnership too,” he added.
Rolls-Royce has not said if Technical Insight was developed with outside help or purely in house.