Like many industries, also the aviation sector feels the lack of well-trained and experienced specialists, while the daily tasks are becoming more and more complex.

INTEC Industrie-Technik now launched a research and development project to counteract this within their core competence of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS).

Especially in ILS, for example in the area of engine maintenance, the everyday challenges are particularly varied, which confronts trainees and experienced employees in the workshops with two things above all: time pressure and no room for error.

To approach this arisen complexity-time trap, in recent years, intelligent support systems were established throughout many fields.  Here, particularly XR (Extended Reality) technologies have excelled, which offer methods and applications to extend reality to our advantage in certain problem solutions. On the one hand, these may be Augmented Reality (AR) applications, which present additional information to recognized objects. On the other hand, there are Virtual Reality (VR) applications with their fully controllable space for training and knowledge transfer. In between lie the applications in Mixed Reality (MR), which combine aspects of AR - integration of our reality - and VR - integration of user interaction. In ILS, for example, such XR applications explain a maintenance task step by step parallel to its actual execution on the real machine. This not only conveys knowledge, plain and simple, the task is in the end completed.

However, digitalisation also poses the usual questions here: Who should develop these applications and keep them up to date? How much will the transition cost? Do the new technologies really offer benefits and are they accepted by the employees?

Since INTEC and its partners have already proven the latter in recent years, the focus lies now primarily on cost-effectiveness. This is in many cases still a concern, because a majority of current projects is rich in functions, but not linked to the data systems of the operations site. The XR applications therefore often expect the required data to be entered manually, for example the actual step-by-step instructions, associated media and, of course, 3D models from CAD.

In order to reduce these development effort and costs, XR applications now have to meet new requirements: Scalability, maintainability and, of course, IT security. These requirements are tackled with INTEC's many years of experience in the fields of CAD, documentation and IT security. The resulting data is prepared using techniques from data science so that it may be integrated pipelined into XR applications. By doing so, existing data is used in its actuality and manual work becomes obsolete. In addition, the intelligence of the database - for example the S1000D documentation - can be taken along into the application, thereby providing additional insight into problem matters.

To conclude these elaborations, this research and development project paves the way for the long-term and sustainable use of XR. The greatest added value of these technologies is thus offered with minimized resource costs.