As the global aerospace engineering industry gears up to adopt emerging technologies, one company hopes to up the playing field with a new R&D lab in Singapore.
The need for innovation
With ‘smart cities’ becoming a reality the world over, the focus is also turning to ‘smart skies’. However, to realise this vision, the aviation industry must undergo a complete transformation at the ground level – specifically in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) segment – and of course, in the skies above.
The imperative to transform has never been more urgent for the aviation industry. Global players not only need to cut fuel costs, reduce carbon emissions, lower repair and maintenance spends and eliminate delays in take-offs and landings, but also improve air safety and improve their bottom line.
According to Virender Aggarwal, CEO, Ramco Systems, these demands can be met when cutting-edge technologies are employed across communication, navigation, and repair and maintenance in the aviation industry.
But such innovations cannot happen overnight. There is a need for the right skills and the foresight to invest in emerging technologies. However, implementation costs are high and vendors face numerous challenges, including adapting to the emerging composite materials, the rapid evolution of software products in the cockpit, and stringent compliance requirements that have to be adhered to. It is hence, not surprising that innovation in engineering hasn’t really taken flight.
A win-win partnership
Against this backdrop, Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) has teamed up with India’s Ramco Systems to establish an innovation lab in Singapore to design and develop novel solutions for aircraft maintenance. “The innovations that arise from this lab will allow us to offer benefits to our customers through —better aircraft interiors that allow for more comfort and efficiency, fewer delays in taking off and landing, less time on the ground due to repairs, and sustainable solutions to long-term problems—while raising the bar for innovation in the industry as a whole,” says Aggarwal.
According to Aggarwal, this world-class MRO Lab – the biggest in Asia outside of India – will bring together the aviation expertise of AFI KLM E&M and Ramco’s considerable knowledge of innovative technologies. “This alliance will lay the groundwork for the widespread adoption of transformative digital solutions to resolve the business problems of aviation players,” he says.
Aggarwal points out that locating the lab in Singapore offers a strategic advantage. “Singapore already has a reputation as a regional aviation hub, with a 20,000 strong workforce and the fact that it is supported by more than 100 aerospace companies,” he says. Ramco hopes to leverage the presence of these major aviation players while tapping into the best talent on offer here.