Creating a digital toolbox for KLM mechanics

iMech Angular Ionic

App building in a hangar

You would say that there is little digital work as a mechanic. It is best to turn keys, bolts and nuts with actual tools. Nevertheless, the digital revolution at KLM has also reached this department. The new iMech app gives mechanics a digital toolbox that has permanently changed their work in a positive way.

An additional digital toolbox

In addition to a real toolbox, mechanics now also receive a tablet with them to take to their workshop. This allows them to perform a multitude of tasks a lot easier. Much of their work is completed for them through so-called tickets. Every ticket represents a task. Normally, mechanics would have to walk to a computer, log in, and then indicate that they tightened that one bolt, nut, or screw. Extremely important in the aviation world, because without a ‘go ahead’ the aircraft cannot be used.

Here too, time is money. Mechanics can use the app on the tablet to indicate directly on the work floor when they have completed a task.

However, it does not stop there. Manuals can also be conjured up via iMech to perform complex operations. If the mechanic finds out that a colleague also has to do something, he or she can enter it immediately.

Önder Ceylan

In short, the app makes the work of the mechanic a lot easier. For the developers of the app, on the other hand, it was quite a job to build such a versatile app. Full-stack developer Önder Ceylan from LINKIT worked for KLM on the app as a lead application developer. He was responsible for both the delivery and the training of his colleagues in both the new techniques and the agile working method that was applied.

Broad team

“We worked on this with two teams,” Önder explains. “It included app developers, API developers, information analysts, business analysts, a product owner, a KLM mechanic, testers, designers and more. So a whole club together, which indicates how extensive this app is. ”

Build an app in a hangar

A special detail was the place where the app was built. As Önder explains: “When you build an app for mechanics, it is of course very important to get as much input from them as possible. Otherwise you will never do it right. To optimize this, we worked in a hangar, right next to the mechanics’ workplace. That way we were very close if we had any questions. In addition, a mechanic was part of our team who constantly shared feedback, plus new requests from the team. ”


“The main technique we used was Ionic. A hybrid mobile apps framework built on Angular and Cordova. Ionic helped us to shorten development time and was also a logical choice because it is based on well-known and proven web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML, which everyone in the team can handle. Finally, the Ionic framework made it possible to use the app on multiple platforms and devices.

Test methods

“Testing was, and always is an important part. We performed both user and e2e tests using Jasmine and Protractor. These working methods are also trusted and make the lives of our developers a lot easier as they can program in a much more targeted way, based on the test results. ”

Great importance for KLM

In addition to the pressure of programming itself, the pressure was even higher due to the enormous importance of the app for KLM. iMech is part of a broader digitization program of the airline in which the working methods are digitized and automated as much as possible.

The worried mother

Önder: “It was clear that, like the rest of the program, iMech is extremely important. Operations kept a close eye on our progress, like some kind of concerned mother. The change in working method is inevitable. Digital is the future for KLM. At the same time, of course, it is crucial that these new apps perform and do exactly what they were designed to do: make work more effective and efficient. ”

Lots of freedom and responsibility

“It was especially cool for me to carry out such a project with the Agile approach -that is without cumbersome rules or restrictions on our way of working or our preference for technology. We were given the freedom to make choices as a team and thereby work together optimally. Although this increased responsibility, it also created a great sense of satisfaction once the app was ready. ”

Do you want to know how Onder can help you develop a mobile app or website? Then get in touch with him for more advice.