AFI KLM E&M is rolling out robotics and automated technologies across its operations for inspection and other purposes.
The aftermarket specialist has been using non-destructive testing eddy current inspection techniques on components at its engine shop in Amsterdam, which according to James Kornberg, director innovations AFI KLM E&M, gives it capability for fully automated testing on rotating parts.
“This has resulted in a 50% reduction of process time with the ability to test with efficient use of resources,” says Kornberg.
At its Paris-based CRMA subsidiary, which oversees CF6, CFM56, GE90 and GP7200 engine parts and modules repair, AFI KLM E&M has also used plasma robots and laser drilling robots for similar inspection purposes.
The company is also working with French start-up Donecle on a drone project. According to Kornberg, these drones will fly autonomously to automatically detect some defects on an airframe.
However, like many companies using robotics for maintenance and purposes, AFI KLM E&M sees the function going far beyond mere inspection work. Kornberg points to laser cladding technology being used in Amsterdam as an example of this.
“This [laser cladding] develops engine parts repairs with the use of this additive laser weld technology,” he says. “Other functions are being developed such as environmentally friendly automatic paint removal using corn starch on composite parts.”