Lufthansa Technik launched an innovation bay at its Malta facility to test and trial new technologies that could improve base maintenance processes there —and then be quickly implemented across the MRO’s network.
So far it is testing three things from start-up and established technology companies: drone-based inspections, mobile 3D scanners and exoskeletons.
The drones are being used to inspect aircraft skin during the visual inspection. After finishing the trials, LHT Malta will evaluate whether to incorporate the drone inspections into aircraft maintenance checks.
The second involves “comparing mobile 3D scanners that can be used for detailed measurements of structural damage,” says a Lufthansa Technik spokeswoman.
The third, exoskeletons from various providers, are being used for tasks that are physically strenuous or non-ergonomic for employees. “The main advantage with these trials is the employees are involved first hand in the decision about which ones support their work the best,” says the spokeswoman.
LHT Malta expects to conclude the first round of tests by this summer and to evaluate other technologies in the innovation bay in the future.
Each project is managed by teams that include experts from across LHT’s sites.
Given that the first three technologies are in the process of being evaluated, LHT would not disclose investment figures.