AERTEC Solutions is a multinational consultancy and engineering firm specializing in aeronautics. We have carried out projects and studies in 25 countries, and we participate in the world’s largest aerospace programs, with reference projects at 70 international airports. Our value proposition is based on our in-depth knowledge of airports, and the aerospace and defence industries. This specialization allows us to understand each sector with a complete vision, covering everything from operational processes and infrastructure design to systems development and integration.
The aerospace industry is characterised by long lead times, large investments and high technological content. These variables affect all key players and their decisions. Therefore, the need for expert solutions has become a fundamental requirement.
Companies involved in this sector need to understand the big picture and have the capabilities to bring value as OEMs, or at any stage or role in the supply chain.
AERTEC Solutions is part of the small group of companies that work on a daily basis with OEMs, Tier 1 and other suppliers as specialists in high added-value solutions.
This unique mix of expert resources, along with an extensive project portfolio and geographic coverage, positions the company in a very select group of businesses.
Background and Achievements
AERTEC Solutions has a long track record of involvement in multiple R&D initiatives with its main partners and customers. On many occasions we have developed customized innovative applications based on new technologies (for instance, using tablets and other mobile computing platforms) to enhance and improve our clients’ operations, typically big aerospace OEMs. Currently we are at the forefront of the aerospace industry in southern Europe, developing and introducing remote expert assistance solutions for aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, with a natural extension into AR.
Challenges to Be Addressed by AR
The aerospace industry is traditionally slow to take up new technologies as it is, by necessity to reduce risk, very conservative. Other than product safety (to which AR should not be perceived as detrimental), a key element is security as we typically deal with sensitive information, particularly in military programs. Security must be paramount in any deployment of AR in the aerospace industry and as such this is one of the challenges for industry-wide adoption we should act upon.
In general terms, AR´s contribution to higher productivity and efficiency needs to be proven, but there are already some studies that support this point. However, there are other obstacles we need to make sure to overcome, such as, for instance, issues related with extended use of smart glasses and similar devices in confined and dark spaces. For manufacturing and maintenance operations, those spaces offer a very interesting opportunity for AR to prove useful. However, unrealistic expectations can deter adoption and even make potential users withdraw completely from any attempt to make AR work. Apart from contributing to the development of technologies that can resolve the issue, we need to properly manage expectations, guiding the industry about what is available, what the future will bring and the most practical solution in the interim.
Why AR Is a Strategic Area
Aerospace manufacturing and maintenance is a very manual activity. We are seeing more and more automation lately, but there will always be a human element and we will always be behind other industries that are more automated than aerospace. An efficient human-machine interface that enhances the performance of people (in terms of speed and quality for instance) and allows them to integrate their activities into the industrial internet of things, will be a key element in what some call Industry 4.0, the 4th industrial revolution or simply the Factory of the Future. We refer to this as the Augmented Factory because AR is destined to play a fundamental role.