Following successful trials, leading technical aircraft services provider Lufthansa Technik has recently brought Nokia 5G private wireless networking into full-time commercial deployment at its facility in Hamburg, Germany.
Throughout a recently completed year-long pilot, and despite pandemic-related travel restrictions, 5G networking has enabled Lufthansa Technik to provide virtual engine parts inspection for its civil aviation customers over fast, high-definition video links.
Guiding customers directly through the engine shop via images generated by a 5G-enabled mobile device, Lufthansa Technik’s ‘Virtual Table Inspection’ (VTI) has allowed customers to remotely attend engine parts inspections, without travelling to its Hamburg facility.
Over a video stream, customers communicate in real time with engine mechanics performing maintenance work. Dismantled parts are jointly inspected on screen in high-resolution, enabling appropriate order decisions to be made. VTI has now been integrated into Lufthansa Technik’s digital AVIATAR technical aircraft fleet management solution.
Stephan Drewes, Chief Information Officer, Lufthansa Technik, said: “During the past year, the Nokia 5G private wireless network enabled us to provide uninterrupted virtual inspection service to our aircraft engine services customers – without a single minute of unpredicted downtime. Based on this outstanding experience, we have decided to promote the initial test case to a permanent AVIATAR product offering.
“By deploying the pilot immediately prior to the pandemic, the Virtual Table Inspection use case was a very timely solution to travel restrictions, with 5G helping the test case evolve quickly from trial to business-critical infrastructure. Going forward, we anticipate that VTI will become the default method of inspection for some customers, while others will also employ a hybrid model that combines remote and in-person inspection.”
Raghav Sahgal, President, Nokia Cloud and Network Services, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the business value of digitalization, with companies that are more advanced in their digital transformation demonstrating greater levels of flexibility and resilience. Through Lufthansa Technik’s pioneering application of private wireless networking, it has illustrated the potential of 5G to improve productivity, and transform the customer experience in even the most challenging circumstances.”
The network is based on Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) 5G SA. Nokia DAC is an application platform providing high-bandwidth, low-latency, hyper-fast private wireless connectivity and local edge computing, which provides digitalization enablers.