In today’s highly competitive aerospace and defense market, it is essential for companies like Airbus to optimize their productivity. Moreover, employee experience, safety and satisfaction are key success factors in the war for talent that is raging.
Building an Airbus aircraft involves complex manufacturing processes consisting of thousands of moving parts. Speed and accuracy are critical to business and competitive advantage. Improvements in both would have high impact on Airbus’ bottom line.
Airbus wanted to help operators reduce the complexity of assembling cabin seats and decrease the time required to complete this task.
What if hands-free wearable technology could be used in airplane manufacturing to increase workforce productivity and engagement, reduce the risk of errors, and improve worker safety in a complex assembly environment?
Wearable technology is indeed a relevant solution for a manufacturing environment and provides instant access to critical information, enabling improved productivity and increased operator satisfaction while reducing training requirements.
Accenture and Airbus collaborated to develop a state of the art application for wearables in aerospace and defense – digitally enabled, industrial grade smart glasses to improve the accuracy and reduce the complexity of cabin furnishing.
Working in a start-up mode which enabled rapid iterations by both companies’ professionals, Accenture and Airbus delivered this initiative in less than a month and used smart glasses to improve accuracy and reduce the time required to complete the cabin seat marking process.
Using contextual marking instructions, the smart glasses display all required information for an operator to help mark the floor faster and reduce errors to zero. In addition, the eyewear technology, implemented by Accenture, also offers interactivity by granting access to features including barcode scanning, data retrieval from the cloud, voice command and augmented reality. Using this innovation technology, all aircrafts’ seat locations can be marked down to the last millimeter and checked for accuracy and quality.
This is the first case of industrialized usage of wearable technology on the final assembly line for a major aircraft manufacturer.
Driving financial performance is a top priority for aerospace and defense companies. Accenture and Airbus demonstrated that wearable technology can bring breakthrough innovation by providing information at speed while leaving the operator’s hands free.
The results are impressive…the overall productivity for the cabin seat marking process per aircraft was improved 500%, error rate reduced to zero, and marking operations have been significantly accelerated. In addition, training requirements are reduced as operators receive data from the smart glasses in real time without needing to rely on a manual.
Since March 2016, the technology has been industrialized for the Airbus 330 long rage aircraft seat marking and installation process. Additional use cases are currently under development with Airbus, using similar technologies, which contribute to the digitalization of the A330 shopfloor.
The Airbus Group is a global pioneer in aeronautics, space and defense-related services, creating cutting-edge technology.
With over 20 years of continuous innovation, the A330 is the most modern, profitable and reliable aircraft family on the market, providing a tailored solution for every market today and for the future.
As the newest member of the A330 family, the A330neo is a truly modern aircraft that shares the values of Airbus’ product line: unrivalled cost-efficiency for airlines and superior comfort for passengers.