Geomagic Control X: 3D software for the aerospace industry. The success story of EasyJet.
Geomagic Control X 3D software makes the difference.
If you’ve been flying in Europe for the last two decades, it’s likely you’ve been flying EasyJet. This Europe’s leading low-cost airline takes travellers to more than 30 countries. All this in accordance with the standards of safety and convenience. And at the same time, offering some of the lowest fares on the continent.
How do they do it?
With a focus on safety, simplicity and operational efficiency. EasyJet’s technical organisation embodies this philosophy by placing safety at the heart of all its activities. Innovation is also fundamental for EasyJet. The objective is to improve performance and reduce costs.
Minimize downtime of aircraft on the ground.
The most important financial impact for EasyJet is to minimise delays and keep ticket prices low. And also to reduce the downtime of an aircraft on the ground (Aircraft on Ground – AOG). Unplanned events occur when any of the company’s 298 Airbus aircraft is damaged or has a mechanical failure. It is clear that the faster a damaged aircraft can be checked, the better it is for the airline and its passengers.
“One of our biggest challenges is trying to reduce aircraft AOG times and keep accurate records when damage occurs” said Andrew Knight, EasyJet’s fleet structure engineer. Although rare, hail, bird strike and other events can potentially damage the wings and fuselage. Therefore, an inspection before the flight becomes necessary again. Checking for damage caused by this type of event has always been a manual procedure. Above all, the interpretation of the extent of the damage is a visual and manual check, which is very subjective. It cannot therefore be repeated in the same way by all staff members. For this reason, the structural engineering team at EasyJet looked for a modern solution. The goal: to speed up processes and provide more accurate and traceable results.
Mobile, repeatable, accurate and precise 3D inspection
“We were looking for a system that was easy for the maintenance technician to use. But we were also looking for a system that would be easy for the maintenance technician to use, but that could also provide more detailed reports if required by the support staff. It has to be accurate, repeatable and above all mobile, as AOG events can occur anywhere in our network of 136 destinations across Europe,” Knight continues. “The biggest challenge was the software part, as a simple and easy-to-use interface was needed to get a basic damage report, but powerful enough to provide more detailed details in the support offices. The 3D scan should provide us with an accurate and fast damage assessment with reproducible results regardless of user experience.”
For these reasons, EasyJet turned to Geomagic software. Based on their needs, Geomagic Control X was chosen as the best product. It is proving to be the right software because EasyJet needed an automated method of impact assessment that was easy for staff to learn and use. Thanks to this solution, damage assessment on the edges of an A320 of about 21 meters (70 feet) takes only a few hours, compared to several days with wax rubbing on tracing paper. This solution allows EasyJet to save tens of thousands of pounds per claim.
Instant reports for quick documentation
Once the scans have been completed, EasyJet engineers can obtain damage reports via Geomagic Control X software on site. No need to load CAD models or align scan data with any other part of the software. Advantages: They do not need extensive metrology experience to achieve reliable results. Control X uses its CAD engine to automatically create an idealized geometry that meets Airbus’ surface continuity standards, and measures the scanned aircraft against this idealized geometry to deliver immediate results. Within minutes, EasyJet engineers have a consistent, repeatable and well-documented damage report available. Above all, it is easier to decide which repairs are needed before the aircraft can be put back into service.
Powerful and easy to learn 3D inspection
EasyJet chose Control X for their large-scale damage assessment because it is very accessible to engineers with many other responsibilities. Mr. Knight made specific comments on this subject: “Engineers will not use the system if it is too complex and requires in-depth software knowledge and/or in-depth training. Control X meets these requirements better than any other scanning-based inspection software because it is intuitive, easy to learn and powerful enough to handle complex measurement scenarios. Anyone familiar with the use of 3D software can understand Control X and get results in minutes, with the flexibility to measure what they need, without pre-programming or inflexible macros.
What does this new and modern approach to damage inspection mean for EasyJet?
“We have estimated that we have saved about 80% of the time it takes to carry out assessments using the 3D systems we currently have. This represents a potential currency saving of 80%,” explains Mr. Knight. In addition to reducing repair time and improving repair decision making, there are other benefits. Above all, detailed damage reports, with accurate scanning data, can help the company sell or return aircraft to its tenants within years of the time it takes to sell or return them.
Using Control X’s EasyJet is another example of how simple and intuitive inspection software helps companies ensure quality everywhere. This allows more people to measure more things in more places.
If you have any questions about Geomagic Control X, please click on the link below and we will contact you as soon as possible.