For just over a year Airbus Group Innovations, Cranfield University and AERTEC Solutions have been developing Project DEMO (Digitising Expressions for Manufacturing Optimisation), aimed at applying virtual reality technology to new industrial environments, with special focus on the aeronautical industry.
The project’s aim is to adapt technology and the context of virtual reality, which is currently associated with the videogame sector, to the digitalisation of knowledge and management processes in aircraft manufacturing plants. This innovative feat endeavours to offer a framework for the development of some of the next generation technologies centred on the aerospace sector. In particular, the main objective is to move forward with regard to the development of generic technology that shall eventually be exploited in the evolution of Airbus aircraft, allowing engineering processes and structural manufacturing to be optimised in aeronautical plants. These new technologies shall be the seed of future knowledge employed in the design of parts, manufacture and assembly, from concept design to final production.
“The technology currently employed in the world of video games, touching on virtual reality, allows for the status and condition of objects and people to be available at any given moment, in addition to precise tracking and the detection of a range of parameters. The aim is to apply this type of system to an industrial context so that, for example, the behaviour of manufacturing plant employees may be distinguished providing all the possible information to optimise work, contribute to their decision making and ultimately improve management and operations” explains Pedro de Melo, Director of the British AERTEC Solutions subsidiary.
The initiative seeks to investigate video game technologies, analyse them and establish new practical applications that may later be adapted to an aeronautical industrial context. The project proposes the development of technology demonstration and prototypes that may endorse and validate new technology, whose final product is destined to be exploited by AERTEC Solutions in the international market.
“AERTEC Solutions proffers its wealth of experience in the industrial aircraft cycle through its industrialisation support services to the control and management of aeronautical manufacturing programmes, as well as via establishing I.T. based solutions for the control of the plant” indicates Pedro de Melo.
The videogame sector offers huge technological potential for the future international market as its virtual reality applications are being researched and developed for high technology industries such as the aerospace, automotive and engineering industries, etc., as well as in applications for the development of professional and educational skills in addition to the health care field.