Right Hemisphere: Graphics management platform makes a picture worth a thousand simulations for Bell Helicopter

Steve Lewis appreciates the power of a picture. Employed by Bell Helicopter for nearly 30 years, there was a time he flew all over the world as a staff engineer to translate what he calls the “engineering speak” that often characterizes operating and service manuals so field maintenance/repair personnel could get aircraft back into the sky.


Steve Lewis appreciates the power of a picture. Employed by Bell Helicopter for nearly 30 years, there was a time he flew all over the world as a staff engineer to translate what he calls the “engineering speak” that often characterizes operating and service manuals so field maintenance/repair personnel could get aircraft back into the sky.

“The first thing I would do when I arrived was draw a picture to communicate what the issues were,” he says. “There was always a big disconnect regarding the materials. I knew there had to be a better way.”

The “better way” proved to be technology from Right Hemisphere , a provider of a powerful graphics management environment built around its Deep Server enterprise graphics storage repository and a broad palette of tools for manipulating and sharing 2D, 3D, and related text from disparate CAD and product life-cycle management (PLM) systems.

In addition to such tools as Deep Creator, Deep Exploration, Deep View, and Deep Paint, Right Hemisphere's latest advance is Deep Access, an easy-to-use interface for creating a unified, well organized and searchable graphics file structure for storing and quickly retrieving metadata and product graphics from a host of different systems.

Lewis, now the simulation manager at Bell Helicopters' Hurst, Texas facility, achieves everything he used to do logging thousands of air miles—without ever leaving his office.

Right Hemisphere solutions manage periodic updates to documentation found within Bell Helicopter to ensure all iterations are replaced with the most current depictions.

“I used to be the troubleshooter in the field, between designers and engineers, or engineering and manufacturing. When I saw the Right Hemisphere solution for the first time, I knew it was something that could greatly simply my life. It's small enough to fit on a laptop and be taken into the field, but better yet, it allows sending an attached file in an email so I can go over animation with someone on the phone.”

Right Hemisphere also extracts detailed graphics from various programs and converts them for use in PowerPoint files and other presentation formats such as PDFs and viewers.

The technology saved 39,000 labor hours in development of technical publications for one aircraft alone. “That's an 80-percent savings in the time to produce graphics of much higher quality, and that are much more portable,” says Lewis, resulting in netted savings in another project of 26,000 labor hours a year.

Lewis believes the power of Right Hemisphere is limited only by one's imagination, citing a recent redesign of an elaborate two-story exhibition booth for a major air show. The goal: to house a full mockup flight simulator.

“We resolved the problem with Right Hemisphere in a few hours,” says Lewis. “Without the technology, we might have made a $2-million investment in preparation for an air show only to find that when we got there we couldn't use the simulator.”

For Bell Helicopter, Right Hemisphere capabilities are advancing so fast, it's hard to keep up with the possibilities for how they can be used, says Lewis. “You've heard how a picture is worth a thousand words,” he says. “Right Hemisphere makes an animated simulation worth a thousand pictures.”

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