FB Technology debuted its revolutionary robotic platform, MARC I (MARC One), at inter airport Europe 2015 earlier this month. MARC I stands for Maintenance of AGL Robot Controlled, it performs repetitive AGL maintenance tasks, enabling staff to focus on more complex tasks. The system automatically measures AGL photometry and checks for compliance. It also checks if the torque to secure the bolts of the inset light fixtures has been applied correctly. Larger airports requiring intensive AGL maintenance will benefit greatly from MARC I.

"Airport maintenance teams, especially in the major aviation hubs like Heathrow, Dubai, Doha or Roissy CDG, are already hard-pressed for time. Highly repetitive tasks such as photometry or torque measurement can get monotonous when done manually," said Lionel Le Cam, managing director, FB Technology. "With MARC I, we’re enabling maintenance staff to better utilise their time on higher-level tasks, such as supervision and management. It reflects our commitment to utilising the latest technologies to provide airports with innovative solutions that prepare them for the future."

In the course of AGL maintenance, airport maintenance teams must check the torque of up to 180,000 bolts for an airport with 30,000 inset light fixtures. Maintenance teams might typically need 500 to 800 hours for this task, which is performed irrespective of weather conditions, as it is intrinsic to safe landing and take-off. Automating this task can significantly reduce AGL field maintenance time.

MARC I also ensures precise AGL photometry measurement by strictly following the displacement patterns defined in its localisation database. Both these capabilities address typical challenges of AGL maintenance, making it easier, more efficient and cost effective especially for airports where manhour costs are high.

MARC I will be available with photometry measurement capabilities starting 2016 while the torque control function will be introduced mid 2016.