Multinational enterprise software company IFS has launched a range of products to support the aviation industry at its World Conference 2018, which took place 1-3 May in Atlanta, Georgia, US.

IFS CEO Darren Roos, who joined the company from SAP in March, announced a major upgrade to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, Applications 10, which includes more than 500 new capabilities.

IFS has incorporated an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled chatbot interface called IFS Aurena that allows engineers, technicians and managers to interact with the software using natural language. It can be accessed on mobile devices using popular tools such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and voice assistants.

Other enhancements include service-centric capabilities, demand driven manufacturing resource planning (DDMRP), enhanced manufacturing functionality and service-centric capabilities.

“We are thrilled to launch IFS Applications 10, which has been built to help customers capitalise on major trends such as automation, connected devices, and servitisation,” Roos said.

“The new core version has been developed in close collaboration with our customers and brings to market a vast amount of innovation that will ensure maximum business value from day one.”

IFS CTO Dan Matthews added: “The new version contains more than 500 new capabilities, including a completely reimagined user experience and powerful features for service-centric organisations, all designed to help users engage with the business and connect people and processes to a modern digital backbone.

“By combining the new features of IFS Applications 10 with recent innovations like IoT [Internet of Things] and layered application architecture, we are able to offer a truly unique business solution.”

One early adopter is Portsmouth Aviation, which provides weapons integration, engineering services and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attack protection for naval vessels. In addition, global defence and security company Saab has entered a sales agreement for Applications 10.

IFS chief technology officer Dan Matthews said: “It is a significant, milestone release, especially for customers with a growing services business, such as Saab.”

IFS also used the conference to launch Maintenix Fleet Planner and Maintenix Line Planner. Fleet Planner, which focuses on long-range planning for heavy maintenance activities, was co-developed and launched with American Airlines. Line Planner, which aims to help planners create, maintain and communicate line maintenance plans more efficiently, was co-developed in partnership with Latam.

Latam deputy manager of continuous improvement Diego Parades Bassi said: “The main benefit we’ve seen is the efficiency than our line planning has now.  We created a tool where planners can take a task and find a specific bay and station with just one click. They use the time they save to make better decisions, improve the plan and reduce operational risk, while making sure that we’re best using all the resources in our network.”