As avionic construction workshops are becoming increasingly digital, the sector's engineering companies are developing new technologies, which are intended to increase workers' productivity in particular, or to make their jobs easier.
Eurogiciel has produced an in-house R&D program called Usine 4.0. What is its main objective? "To develop technologies and specific digital tools to meet the new requirements of the avionics industry", explains the engineering group's Marketing director Jean-Frédéric Réal. Above all, it will enable the group "to have and provide an overview of our contribution to the factory of the future", he continues.
"Over the last two years, we have been working on tools intended to help operators on assembly lines. These innovative products included connected glasses, watches and bracelets which help workers keep their hands free. These products are currently in the experimentation phase", details the man who is also in charge of R&D and innovation.
Augmented reality glasses, for example, which are developed in partnership with the French glasses manufacturer Optinvent, are ideally suited to long inspection operations that require workers to keep their hands free. "The technologies contained in these glasses enable us to enhance what operators see by sending digital information directly into the eye", explains Mr. Réal. Among the applications available with these glasses are automatic recognition, guidance during part assembly and even marker and symbol recognition.
Although the tool is currently being used at the La Poste group, it has not yet made its way into avionics workshops. However, "one avionics manufacturer is very interested", says Jean-Frédéric Réal who presented the product to the company in question in July.
eSMART technology, which was developed by Equert International, one of the Eurogiciel group's three subsidiaries, which specialises in quality and industrial performance, is currently being used by Airbus. This Internet-based collaborative tool was developed specially for the European avionics manufacturer. In particular, it enables industrial performance data to be collected.
In addition, augmented reality is already in place in Airbus's Toulouse workshops. Last March, operators on the A330's final assembly line were given the opportunity to test glasses to mark automatically the locations to secure seats to floor rails. The tests were carried out on five aircraft in production. This technology proved its worth during testing and the manufacturer should be applying it across its whole production chain.