UPSIDE-DOWN ROBOTS FROM “MIDDLE-EARTH” TO IMPROVE GLOBAL AVIATION SAFETY
From the small country that ‘punches above its weight’ in regard to innovation and technology, a New Zealand company has created robots designed to ultimately improve the safety of the world’s multi-billion dollar aviation market.
Considered a ‘disruptor’ in the industry, Invert Robotics’ technology is enabling significant change in the aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) sector with its remote-controlled robots that use a patented suction mechanism to adhere to and traverse a range of surfaces including aluminium, glass and carbon fibre; even when aircraft surfaces are wet or require an upside down inspection.
Zurich-based aircraft maintenance group SR Technics is the first European company to use Invert Robotics technology in a programme certain to change the nature of many aircraft maintenance and inspection processes.
Equipped with a high definition camera and sensor technology, the robot records and transmits video images to a ground-based screen for real-time analysis by line-maintenance staff, enabling efficient visual inspections (GVI and DVI) on the tarmac or in the hangar. Images can be used for more detailed repair assessments and as a record of ‘current state’ for future comparison purposes.
Rapid set-up and efficient inspection can reduce checks for operational damage from hours to minutes, while eliminating the risks of staff working at height.
Its technology will soon include ultra-sound and thermographic testing, allowing many labour-intensive and tedious maintenance inspection processes to be performed. This frees up skilled aircraft engineers to attend to more complex tasks and reduces the time and cost of aircraft maintenance.
“SR Technics is constantly looking for ways to improve the services and reduce the costs to our customers in this highly competitive industry,” said SR Technics CEO Jeremy Remacha.
“Time savings mean our customers have their aircraft back in service sooner and for airlines that is a huge benefit. Being able to record the state of an aircraft proves the need for and quality of our work, and allows more accurate scheduling of required maintenance. We are excited to be part of this innovation that we believe will have a significant effect in our industry.”
“Having developed the world’s first inspection robot of its kind, Invert Robotics has evolved to deliver tools and technologies for difficult-to-access areas, quickly and safely,” said Neil Fletcher, Managing Director of Invert Robotics.
“The opportunity to evolve from inside concave surfaces to outside convex surfaces brought the aviation industry into clear focus as a significant market for Invert Robotics.”
About Invert Robotics
INVERT ROBOTICS designs and develops robotic non-destructive testing (NDT) technologies used for the inspection of non-ferromagnetic surfaces in the food and beverage, dairy, aviation, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas industries. Undertaking these audit services enables companies to then take action, greatly assisting in food security and overall consumer and passenger safety. Already a market leader in Australasia, INVERT ROBOTICS has worked with six of the top eight global dairy companies, among other leading food and beverage brands. Now its robotic technology services aviation companies in Europe through its partnership with SR Technics.
About SR Technics
SR Technics is a world leading MRO service provider for the civil aviation sector. The SR Technics Group offers its customer airlines comprehensive and totally-tailored solutions for the technical support and management of their aircraft fleets, engines and components. This is coupled with extensive engineering know-how, 24/7 worldwide component availability and broad technical training offerings. With its head office at Zurich Airport, SR Technics provides its services to about 500 airline customers through an extensive network of international operations and sales offices in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. For further information, please visit www.srtechnics.com.