AFI KLM E&M combines its training know-how with the world of the new technologies released by GAFAM to breathe life into innovative and effective approaches to learning.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are two of the new technologies that AFI KLM E&M's MRO Lab is looking into. They open up new opportunities, especially in the sphere of staff training, where they can act as additional drivers to accelerate and simplify instruction. Especially when it comes to expanding the knowledge and understanding of engineers around complex equipment and functions.
New approaches for instructors and trainees
This is precisely the test case that was experimented with, based on the training program developed in partnership with the Dutch aerospace research center, NLR, and implemented with the help of Microsoft's mixed reality HoloLens headsets. These can project a hologram of a part or a component in a classroom and trainees can move around it at the same time as they can interact with their peers and the instructor. After a PoC found that the system was workable, a first operational session was organized, in Amsterdam, with 16 AFI KLM E&M engineers in October 2018, looking at cooling/ventilation systems. In a next future, other scenarios could be developed and implemented like run-up, over-heating,...
Interactivity and availability
Divided into four groups of four, the participants were assigned specific tasks using traditional methods such as pen and paper, as well as computers and the HoloLens.
This delivered several benefits, as explained by Olaf Hoftijzer, Head of Training at KLM E&M, and Bob Hoogstede, an education expert at KLM E&M: "The trainees are active during the lesson, and share, rather than simply listening to someone explaining how this or that system works. The possibility of moving around freely in this way helps to speed up the learning process. The research we carried out before implementation shows that the knowledge transfer achieved via the HoloLens is greater and more effective than a traditional teaching method. The role of the instructor is also enhanced. Thanks to this new technology, they can now be more attentive to and supporting of their trainees individual needs.
This solution offers the benefit of freeing us up from limitations in connection with the availability of aircraft and parts. By bringing the aircraft into the classroom, we save time and can align the theory and practice components of the training module."
Whether you're talking about virtual or augmented reality, other types of use are being experimented with throughout the Group, or else are already being used in practical applications, for training technicians on 787 systems in particular, and they are all contributing, like the HoloLens solution, to enlivening, improving and enriching the training experience.