Home Manufacturing How Rolls-Royce Uses AI to Power Engine Maintenance

How Rolls-Royce Uses AI to Power Engine Maintenance

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has been gradually integrating intelligence abilities into its aircraft engines. In April 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) recognized the company’s artificial intelligence initiatives.

Rolls-Royce is also a signatory to a memorandum of understanding with the Alan Turing Institute in a bid to collaborate with each other on creating next-generation AI, particularly for use in industrial applications.

Artificial intelligence serves a fundamental purpose in achieving Rolls-Royce’s strategic vision. As a testament to this, the company unveiled its IntelligentEngine vision, which is fueled by both advanced data analytics and AI.

The strategy is coupled up with service around the engine, which is backed by intelligent sensors in a bid to support a considerable number of airline passengers. According to Rolls-Royce, this move provides numerous opportunities to boost the way it delivers power to its clientele.

Smart Engines

Apart from maintaining, testing and designing engines in the digital space, the IntelligentEngine strategy formulates a future whereby an engine would be more understanding, contextually aware and connected to offer greater efficiency and reliability.

In fact, they will not only connect with other engines but will also be contextually aware to help them in responding to their surroundings devoid of human intervention. According to details from Rolls-Royce, an aircraft engine will be in a position to learn from its network of peers, own experiences, as well as undertake behavior adjustment to attain optimal performance all thanks to the IntelligentEngine initiative.

The IntelligentEngine initiative is backed by R2 Data Labs, Rolls-Royce’s acceleration hub intended for data innovation. Created in December 2017, it offers a center for complex industrial AI, product development, data analytics, and machine learning research. Additionally, the lab is currently behind the provision of four key products including MRO insight, integrated living, fleet planning, and design optimization.

According to Hudson Smith, R2 Data Labs is a crucial group in Rolls-Royce, which aids in expediting the use of analytics and AI, especially in business and in investigating ways for the entire company to become more digital.

The lab is subdivided into four primary areas such as the AI hub, strategy and business development arm, disruptive companies’ portfolio and an operations section that aids in deploying technologies obtained from R2 Data Labs to external business units.


Rolls-Royce boasts a two-decade history dealing with telemetry data obtained from engines. Hudson Smith also added that although R2 Data Labs previously operated as an internal service, it is striving to expand its main function with self-service for business users.

He also asserted that Rolls-Royce operates numerous digital twins and undertakes peer-to-peer analysis, which allows it to analyze data gathered from an aircraft operating in a similar environment to comprehend where they vary.

According to Hudson, the engine manufacturer runs cloud computing farms where the processing of large volumes of data can take place. As such, Rolls-Royce can carry out simulations to aid it in creating new designs. With the increased evolution of R2 Data Labs, Hudson views an opportunity to boost how the company uses data.

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KC Cheung
KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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