Printed headline: Innovative Inspections
1. On-Site Chip Analysis
Specifications: The ChipCHECK from Gastops enables maintenance crews to analyze metal-chip debris from equipment in minutes on-site, eliminating the need to send chip detectors to a lab for analysis. The field-deployable maintenance support tool, which has been on the market for around two years, uses digital image capture combined with alloy identification spectroscopy technology to analyze the chip detector debris used for assessing engine health. Gastops says ChipCHECK drastically reduces turnaround time and unnecessary component removal, thanks to its immediate, reliable results.
2. Lightning-Fast Defect Measurement
Product: InSpec Surface Gauge
Specifications: 4D Technology’s hand-held InSpec Surface Gauge uses polarized structured light (PSL) technology to measure defects; the company says it is less susceptible to interference from vibration in a noisy manufacturing environment. Measurements are lightning-quick—taking tens of microseconds compared to traditional interferometry methods—which 4D Technology says reduces costs. The company is currently beta testing a new version of the tool, called InSpec XL, which will have double the field of view and depth capability, enhanced software and support for robotically automated measurements. The InSpec XL is planned for release in the third quarter of 2018.
3. Versatile Remote Inspections
Specifications: Librestream’s Onsight collaboration platform, which features a portfolio of remote-collaboration tools and software, has been gaining traction with aerospace customers for maintenance tasks such as inspections. The platform can be connected to borescopes, ultrasonic devices and a variety of other inspection tools. The company recently announced that Rolls-Royce is using the platform for advanced remote boroblending techniques for aircraft engines, which will enable on-wing remote turbine blade inspection. The platform’s newest product—the Onsight Cube, which was introduced earlier this year—has just started to ship out to customers. The wearable device allows for hands-free expert guidance during inspections, with capabilities such as thermal imaging and HD video.
4. Ultrasonic Inspections
Specifications: Non-destructive testing inspection specialists Eddyfi Technologies have added phased-array ultrasonic testing instruments to their portfolio with the recent acquisition of M2M. The Gekko, a phased-array ultrasonic flaw detector, can be combined with one of Eddyfi’s array probes to find cracks, defects and other anomalies in aircraft components. Eddyfi and M2M say the Gekko comes with an intuitive interface that is easy to learn, and the device can replace expensive X-ray inspections while improving defect detection.
5. 3D Damage Scans
Products: SmartDENT3D and HandySCAN
Specifications: Paired with Creaform’s HandySCAN 3D laser scanner, SmartDENT3D enables inspection and analysis of surface defects on aircraft. Once a technician scans damage with the HandySCAN, Creaform’s SmartDENT3D software extracts data about the defect such as width, depth and distance from other defects. Creaform says that in addition to ease of use, the products allow faster, more repeatable inspections compared to conventional pit gauge measurement. The company says it has worked with both Airbus and Boeing on acceptance of the products, and both OEMs have incorporated them into their technical guidance.
6. Diagnosing Issues Using Infrared
Product: Fluke Ti450 Pro Infrared Camera
Specifications: The Ti450 Pro Infrared Camera from industrial testing specialist Fluke can be used to find problems such as mechanical friction, moisture intrusion, carbon-fiber delamination and electrical and airflow issues. The camera’s specialized sensor detects thermal radiation, which users can view and analyze in real time. Fluke says the Ti450 Pro allows technicians to analyze aircraft systems without physical contact or traditional metering equipment, making maintenance tasks easier and more efficient. The camera includes a number of technological advancements such as wireless connectivity to mobile applications, image enhancement and rugged design for aircraft environments.