Airbus dent inspection efficiency up 90 per cent with vision

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Airbus technicians have seen efficiency gains of 90 per cent when using vision to inspect dents in aircraft bodywork compared to manual methods.

The aerospace company’s Flightline operations in Hamburg, Germany is now using the DentCheck system from 8tree to inspect dents post-rework on joint section 14/15 of a painted A320 aircraft, an area that’s difficult to reach manually.

Arun Chhabra, CEO of 8tree, commented: ‘It is very rewarding for us to witness DentCheck – a purpose-built tool that is shaped by inputs from airlines and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organisations – now delivering value further upstream, within the Flightline operations of an aircraft OEM.’

DentCheck is a handheld 3D scanner built for mapping dents on metallic aero structures and composite cabin floorboards. Operating on the principle of structured light illumination, the scanner has multiple approvals in Airbus' Tool Equipment Manuals (TEMs). Other aircraft OEMs are expected to issue similar guidance in the coming weeks, enabling more airlines to implement DentCheck to boost maintenance efficiency.

Case studies published by TAP-M&E and EasyJet demonstrate that DentCheck reduces inspection and reporting times by more than 90 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively.

DentCheck was recognised during the Embedded Vision Summit in Santa Clara USA, winning 'best end product' in the Embedded Vision Alliance's Vision Products of Year awards. The summit took place from 21 to 24 May.

At the upcoming AirExpo China 2018 in Shanghai from 11 to 13 June, 8tree will introduce capabilities that expand the DentCheck ecosystem and enhance operational efficiency for customers.

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Using drones could enable visual aircraft inspections in under an hour. Credit: Mainblades

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