Skip to content
Open call

Applying digital technologies to propulsion system damage assessment with Rolls-Royce

Open date: Wednesday 3 October 2018   Close date: Thursday 25 October 2018

Together with Rolls-Royce, we’re looking for startups and scaleups with the latest digital innovations from AI to 3D scanning and modelling. In this Pit Stop you’ll get the opportunity to collaborate with Rolls-Royce and demo your solutions in an industrial context, with application to land, sea and air-based propulsion systems. With up to £50k funding to further build a proof of concept this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Within Rolls-Royce, when damage beyond defined limits occurs to an engine part, an engineer in the field will investigate and report back to a centralised team responsible for the Technical Variance (TV). This is often a largely manual process but one that digital technologies have a significant potential to revolutionise.

The ability of engineers to assess damage in the field can be greatly enhanced by access to detailed models, instantly augmented with relevant information. Combined with computer vision solutions will allow non-engineers to rapidly identify which components have been damaged beyond repair sooner, as well as enhancing the quality of accurate data sent back for skilled assessment.

In particular, Rolls-Royce is interested in the potential impact of:

  • How computer vision applications can automatically identify an engine component
  • Scanning technologies which can create accurate digital 3D models of physical components
  • How platforms allow 3D models to be manipulated and augmented with additional external data
  • Detecting and measuring damage via AI either directly on a physical component, or by comparing to a 3D model.

The challenge is specifically focused on engine components, in particular:

  • Optimising updates to the control manual as well as version control of the manual
  • Learnings from past TVs to inform future actions
  • Recognising defects and recommending standard follow-up tests to common defects
  • Recommending best practices for data collection and management throughout the process to complement existing tech/processes
  • Avoiding costly build-up of additional identified repairs plus reliance on specialist team members
  • Understanding if alternative scanning technologies can offer a more informed view of the state of components for repair.

Why you should get involved?

The activity will give participants the opportunity to collaborate with a global aerospace manufacturer, and apply their solutions to real-world challenges.

This is an exciting opportunity for digital innovators to collaborate with Rolls-Royce and demonstrate how solutions can enhance the engineering process. Up to £50k of funding is available for successful companies to build out a proof of concept following the challenge.

Development of the proof of concept will take place over a six to twelve week sprint, which will demonstrate the technology in context and help build the business case for possible further development. Scheduling of the sprint is forecast to be around six months after the event.

Participants will collaborate with Rolls-Royce, experts and other innovators to:

  • Exchange knowledge and develop a common understanding of Rolls-Royce’s challenges within the context of the TV process
  • Identify areas where solutions could positively impact process efficiencies and explore how they could be integrated into current operations
  • Build solutions and demonstrate them at the end of the sessions in order to indicate their potential to address the outlined challenges.

Who should apply?

Rolls-Royce are particularly interested in hearing from startups and scaleups with technical skills in the following areas:

Artificial Intelligence*

  • Chat or other interfaces to speed up damage reporting
  • Advanced aggregation, indexing and analytics tools
  • Computer vision tools.

3D Scanning and Modelling

  • 3D image tagging
  • 3D image creation from 2D drawings
  • 3D image storage
  • Alternative mobile scanning technologies (heat, penetrative etc).

*Rolls-Royce as part of this activity are not interested in natural language processing focused solutions as this is currently being explored elsewhere in the business.

Next steps

The open call will be open from 3 October to 26 October where potential participants may register their interest in taking part. The event will take place on 12 November.

The Pit Stop will allow discussion with Rolls-Royce and provide time to further refine the solutions before demonstrations at the end of the event.

Innovators with promising solutions will be further asked to submit proposals and discuss potential commercial relationships with Rolls-Royce.

Apply below to register your interest to participate in this challenge.