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Ramco Systems, Air France KLM open Singapore Aviation MRO IT Lab

Innovation Centre Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board to develop Advanced Aviation Engineering IT Solutions.

SINGAPORE/CHENNAI – An engineering lab – the first of its kind in Asia – to develop advanced aviation IT solutions such as wearables for ground engineers and drones to inspect aircraft on the tarmac was declared open today in Singapore by Ramco Systems with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance as the first anchor partner.

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, the MRO Lab combines engineering and research talent from Ramco, a global aviation software specialist, with AFI KLM E&M as Ramco’s first co-innovator partner for the MRO Lab.

Launched at the Singapore Airshow, the lab will work on next-generation applications and develop intellectual property to solve major problems facing the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul industry.

The formation of the Lab comes amidst rising concerns that the global MRO industry is trailing in innovation and could face major bottlenecks amidst continued growth in international air traffic, as well as expansion of airports.

The Lab is located at Ramco’s regional headquarters in Singapore, which has emerged as a major regional aviation hub and an innovation centre for the airline sector, including advanced materials and engine efficiency. The Lab is Ramco’s most significant aviation investment in Asia to date.

The Lab will gradually scale up to employ more than 50 global innovators in Singapore, who will work on solutions such as:

  • “Internet of Things”, or embedded sensors for aviation components;
  • Machine learning equipment which can cut down on manual maintenance and checking;
  • Analytics for engineering planning and optimisation to reduce aircraft on ground (“AOG”);
  • Robotics for the shopfloor and drones to inspect aircraft on the tarmac; and
  • Wearable devices including Google Glass™ for on-ground engineers.

The facility will serve as a collaborative platform for airlines and disruptive tech companies, which Ramco and AFI KLM E&M intend to facilitate with other aviation-related researchers.

P R Venketrama Raja, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, at Ramco Systems, said: “With its strategic location and business-friendly environment, Singapore is growing in prominence as a preferred investment hub. We are happy to have partnered with Singapore EDB in setting up this co-innovation Lab, which will be the platform for developing solutions that can transform operations for the complete eco-system of the aerospace industry.”

“We are pleased that Ramco has chosen Singapore to establish their largest Innovation Lab outside of India,” said Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board. “Through this Lab, Ramco will work with leading aerospace companies and airlines in Singapore to co-develop and catalyse lead adoption of transformative digital solutions. The collaborations will enable delivery of greater value and new services offerings for the industry from Singapore.”

Franck Terner, EVP of Air France KLM Engineering & Maintenance, welcomed the opening of the centre, saying: “We are proud to extend our R&D capability and anchor it in the heart of Singapore, one of the world’s greatest innovation platforms. In being able to benefit from the combined expertise of two acknowledged MRO sector players, the MRO Lab Singapore will be able to offer in very short order innovative solutions that are likely to deliver real benefits to our clients.”

Virender Aggarwal, CEO of Ramco Systems, said: “Innovation and disruptive technologies are key to the growth of the aviation MRO industry, where many manual procedures could be improved. This Lab positions us at the forefront of research in this sector, which will benefit airlines across Asia, if not the world. We are glad to have an anchor customer in AFI KLM E&M who shares the same passion to develop solutions that can transform operations in the aerospace industry.”

“We intend to tap the brightest minds in Asian aviation to develop bespoke, future-ready IPs that bring MRO into the 21st century. Our heartfelt thanks to the EDB and AFI KLM E&M for their support,” he added.