Use of a drone made the process 12 times faster than traditional inspection
A pioneer in Latin America, LATAM’s Maintenance Center in São Carlos (SP) has been using drone since December 2019 to further increase its efficiency and quality. The consolidation of the use of this technology has made the process 12 times faster than traditional inspection. Now, in light of its success in the Brazilian operation, the LATAM group has decided that it will adopt the same solution in its MRO (acronym for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) operations in Chile.
As Alexandre Peronti, LATAM Brazil’s Director of Maintenance, explains, the result of this technology reinforces the position of the maintenance center in São Carlos as a technological pole of reference for the airline industry. “Before, we needed an average of 8 hours to perform an external general inspection of a medium-sized aircraft. Now, with this technology, we can perform the same process in 40 minutes. The result proves that we are on the right track for more operational efficiency and makes it even more evident how LATAM MRO São Carlos should be a source of pride for Brazil.
HOW DOES LATAM DRONE INSPECTION WORK?
Currently, LATAM’s entire drone visual inspection process is performed on its Airbus A320 family aircraft that undergo heavy maintenance at LATAM MRO in São Carlos (SP), a hub of technological innovation and an important employment generation center for the region, in addition to being a reference in aeronautical maintenance in Brazil and Latin America.
In each inspection process between 1,600 and 2,000 detailed photos are collected from the entire fuselage, wings and empennage, using artificial intelligence to identify possible damage and necessary repairs. The inspection method is 100% autonomous and generates even more efficiency and quality compared to the manual process.
Another advantage is related to resource savings. This is because by keeping records in the cloud and updated in real time, paper printouts have been eliminated. The use of the drone also increases process reliability due to inspection standardization. The technology is the result of LATAM’s partnership with Donecle, a French company that developed the equipment.
OTHER LATAM TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS
In April of this year, LATAM Brazil began using augmented reality goggles for aircraft maintenance mechanics at 20 of its bases in Brazil. The company is the first Latin American airline to use the equipment that ensures greater efficiency and agility in complex aircraft maintenance and inspection activities.
Another technological advance made by LATAM in Brazil this year was the adoption of an electronic system for aircraft and aircraft component maintenance records. The Company was authorized by the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) to use this document format to perform and record maintenance actions on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, in addition to meeting all the requirements of ANAC Resolution No. 458 and Supplemental Instruction (IS) No. 43.9-004, which allows the use of digital systems to replace paper documents.
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress Team ***