Caribbean Airlines’ Aircraft Battery Shop has received “ABMS” Aircraft Battery Shop Certification from Marvel Aero International. The Aircraft Battery Management System (ABMS) certification was issued to Caribbean Airlines after meeting three criteria:
1. Installation of the ABMS-10X Aircraft Battery Management System hardware and software, integrated with the Christie RF80-M Battery Charger Analyzer
2. Battery Shop Facilities Audit
3. Battery Shop and Calibration Lab Technician Training
The ABMS-10X system provides full CMM compliance and traceability for the aircraft battery shop. The system automates the battery service process by controlling the RF80-M Charger/Analyzer using an embedded micro-controller linked to a Windows 8 computer/server running ABMS-10X battery management software. The system continuously monitors individual nickel cadmium battery cell voltages, battery terminal voltage, charge/discharge current and battery temperature. All charge, discharge and pause/wait commands are executed in strict compliance with battery manufacturer’s component maintenance manuals. Servicing records and work order tasks are documented in real time in a structured and searchable database. Quantitative limits are recorded and stored for trend monitoring analysis to provide optimized management of critical aircraft battery assets. The ABMS-10X system employs supervisory controls to assure CMM compliance and configuration management of all battery servicing.
The Caribbean Airlines battery shop scored a perfect 75 out of 75 audit score measuring 15 key parameters. Proper tools and equipment were examined as well as safety elements such as adequate ventilation, eye wash stations and emergency respiration and battery handling equipment.
Two TTCAA Licensed Avionics Engineers, one Avionics technician, one Calibration Engineer, and one Calibration Technician, were provided 27 hours of training on the operation and calibration of the ABMS-10X Aircraft Battery Management System.
Saelig (www.saelig.com) has introduced ABI BoardMaster 8000 PLUS – a self-contained PCB test system. BoardMaster 8000 Plus is a comprehensive set of test instruments, complete with built-in PC, for testing and fault-finding on almost any kind of PCB. Incorporating a full range of test instruments in one compact box and offering a variety of available test methods, BoardMaster 8000 PLUS provides a cost-effective standalone solution for electronics faultfinding across a wide range of industries, manufacturers, and board technologies.
BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is an integrated package of high specification instrumentation controlled by sophisticated but easy to use software. The hardware is installed in a rugged transportable case that also contains a high specification, Windows™ PC. BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is based on a modular system which can be customized for specific applications, and its software can be configured to guide users step-by-step through a test procedure, with custom-annotated picture images, instructions, and attached datasheets to give quick Pass/Fail results. This is much faster and more economical than using traditional oscilloscope and metering and other bench test methods.
A typical BoardMaster 8000 PLUS configuration offers:
• Two Board Fault Locator modules, with 128 test channels for multiple test methods for fault diagnosis and functional testing of digital ICs (in-circuit / out-of-circuit), IC connections status, and voltage acquisition, V-I Curve testing of components on unpowered boards.
• An Analog IC Tester for in-circuit functional testing of analog ICs and discrete components (no programming or circuit diagrams needed). Fully configurable V-I Tester for detection of faults on unpowered boards.
• A Multiple Instrument Station with 8 high specification test and measurement instruments in one compact module (Frequency Counter, Digital Storage Oscilloscope, Function Generator, Digital Floating Multimeter, Auxiliary PSU, and Universal I/O).
• A Triple Output Variable Power Supply provides required supply voltages to the unit under test.
Many repair centers around the world are equipped with BoardMaster 8000 PLUS, offering optimal fault coverage and maintenance capabilities to a wide range of customers. In most cases, the tranport infrastructures are made up of older, legacy equipment along with latest release models (new metro lines for instance). The threat of incompatibility of test equipment for each technology is overcome by the versatility of the SYSTEM 8 range to cope with old and new electronics. ABI products are a favorite at the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF, the French railway) as 13 complete BoardMaster 8000 PLUS ensure the correct operations of all electronics assemblies used on freight trains. Although the actual PCB repair is provided by a separate department, the BoardMaster 8000 PLUS are used to soak (or cycle) test the repaired boards for 48 hours before they are placed back on trains (due to rigorous safety regulations). Unique TestFlows (automated test sequences) were developped for all types of boards to acquire, check and log a range of measurements. The Multiple Instrument Station (MIS) is at its best in this configuration.
ABI products are valued by the underground institution Metro Sao Paulo, in Brazil. At their main office, six BoardMaster solutions are used daily to cover all aspects of electronics fault-finding for all electronics boards (rolling and fixed stock). With over 50 engineers using the equipment and tight deadlines in maintenance, TestFlows were carefully developed to be interactive and reduce fault-finding time. For instance, each step of a TestFlow includes direct links to photos, schematics, instructions and videos to speed up the access to data. Metro Sao Paulo is also using 2 RevEng (schematic learning) systems to generate missing schematics in order to support their repair processes. Plans to increase their assets with the acquisition of a further 11 BoardMaster 8000 PLUS are confirmed for 2012.
ABI Electronics is an associate member of the Alamys group, the association of companies in Latin America covering the underground and railway industry. This partnership enables ABI to benefit from the industry’s expertise as well as the problems and challenges it encounters. In turn, ABI offers tailored solutions to meet the demands of the industry.
BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is frequently the test instrument of choice in the areas of telecommunications, transportation, and automotive manufacturing. Many land forces, air force and navy organizations around the globe use BoardMaster 8000 PLUS to provide on-site test and repair, avoiding time-consuming returns to distant repair sites. For less complex or cost-sensitive needs, System8 Modules may be selected and mounted in a PC-driven housing. Applications include: PCB testing and troubleshooting, digital/analog IC test, digital/analog V-I test, visual short identification with audible/visual indication of probe distance to short, live board comparison, manufacturing defects analysis, power-on/power-off testing, QA reporting, embedded real-time control, calculation and logging, component and board level testing, digital and analog functional tests , automated test sequences, etc.
Made in Europe by ABI Electronics Ltd., a leading embedded test equipment manufacturer, BoardMaster 8000 PLUS is available now from Saelig Co. Inc. Fairport, NY. For detailed specifications, free technical assistance, or additional information, please contact Saelig 1-888-7SAELIG, via email: email@example.com, or visit www.saelig.com
The Federal Aviation Administration recently released an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) to owners and operators of Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes. The EAD CF-2014-27, issued to correct unsafe conditions on the CL-600-2B16 models, states the following:
“There have been three in-service reports on 604 Variant aeroplanes of a fractured fastener head on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting at Wing Station (WS) 76.50, found during routine maintenance inspection. Investigation revealed that the installation of these fasteners on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fittings at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, does not conform to the engineering drawings. Incorrect installation may result in premature failure of the fasteners attaching the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting… and consequently the detachment of the flap surface. The loss of a flap could adversely affect the continued safe operation of the aeroplane.”
The EAD goes on to mandate a “detailed visual inspection of each inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting, on both wings, to determine if the fasteners are correctly oriented and intact and complete rectification as required.” If any fastener is found fractured, the EAD requires owners and operators of the Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes to “replace all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and 127.25 before further flight and within 24 months, if any incorrectly installed fasteners are found.” In addition, if any incorrectly oriented but intact fasteners are found, and no fractured fastener is found, the EAD requires owners and operators to “repeat the visual inspection… at intervals not to exceed 10 flight cycles, until the replacement of all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings have been done.”
RF System Lab, an RVI provider and makers of the VJ-Advance articulating video borescope is offering to provide assistance in complying with EAD CF-2014-27. The VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope, available in 6.9mm, 3.9mm, and super slim 2.8mm diameters, offers advanced features like 4-way joystick-controlled articulation and hi-res photo, video, and audio recording capabilities. Owners and operators of the Bombardier, Inc Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes will be able to complete and record required visual inspections with ease using the portable, 23oz VJ-ADV.
RF System Lab understands the urgency of this EAD as well as the importance of keeping downtime to a minimum, which is why they are able to ship a video borescope to your facility next day, if needed. Visit www.rfsystemlab.us for more information on how the VJ-ADV can help you confidently complete visual inspections; or contact one of their borescope experts today at 231-943-1171 to find out more about the VJ-ADV video borescope and their no-cost, no-obligation demo program.
Malabar International, a major aircraft maintenance and ground support equipment manufacturer, announced that it has acquired DAE Industries. DAE is a manufacturer of engine stands and other ground support equipment, based in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Acquiring DAE boosts our capabilities domestically and internationally. We will now offer a broader array of products to the commercial and military aviation industries. This is an exciting expansion that strengthens Malabar’s ability to serve its customers,” John E. Carroll, Jr., Malabar chairman and CEO, said.
Combining Malabar and DAE will bring new capabilities to both companies. With manufacturing locations in Simi Valley, California and Louisville, Kentucky, the new enterprise will enjoy improved production efficiencies and better access to markets in North America and around the world. Malabar’s network of international representatives will enhance and expand distribution of DAE products.
“Becoming a part of Malabar with our high quality and unique product portfolio creates synergies that will benefit all our customers and our position in the marketplace,” Todd Berger, DAE CEO, said. “We are extremely pleased to have joined Malabar and to have a larger platform from which to expand our business.”
DAE Industries, based in Louisville, KY, is a maintenance equipment manufacturer for commercial and military aircraft and a Boeing licensee. The company specializes in engine transport stands, aircraft maintenance stands, docking systems, ground support equipment, aircraft service tooling, and special engineering and design services. It also provides leases and refurbishment for its engine stands. Its docking systems are custom engineered and built to meet customer needs.
DAE was founded in 1984 as a machine shop. By 1991 DAE began producing engine stands. In 1992 the company began developing docking systems for commercial and military aircraft. Over the years DAE expanded into ground support and other maintenance equipment, including tooling.
Malabar International is a pioneering supplier of maintenance and ground support equipment for commercial and military aircraft. Malabar’s major product lines are tripod and axle jacks, fluid dispensers, 787 and other fluid service equipment, nitrogen, oxygen, and strut service carts, wheel/brake changers, and specialized aircraft service trailers. Malabar products are in use in 90 countries by major airlines, airframe manufacturers, MRO centers, and military forces. Malabar has a worldwide reputation for quality and service, with 24-hour online product support including emergency parts delivery. It also repairs and refurbishes its products.
Pilots no longer need a wallet full of charge-card options when traveling domestically or internationally. EPIC and U.S. Bank announced the release of the enhanced EPIC Card, cobranded with the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network– the first card issued by a fuel supplier to provide global acceptance via U.S. Bank’s exclusive, aviation-specific network.
The EPIC Card can now be presented at thousands of fixed-base operator (FBO) locations globally that process through the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network. For EPIC cardholders, this means all card transactions will appear on one statement each month for streamlined reconciliation. A mobile app and a dedicated website provide online settlement, tracking and account-specific pricing.
“For maximum convenience, and to lighten the weight of a pilot’s wallet, EPIC cardholders can utilize the iGo EPIC app to transact with a digital card and access account-specific pricing for Preferred EPIC Card FBO locations,” explains Steve McCullough, EPIC senior VP of BD and Strategy. “Expanding the EPIC Card’s acceptance through the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network is the latest in our ongoing focus on product development and enhancements. We look forward to offering current customers the expanded functionality and to welcoming new EPIC Cardholders.”
This month, all existing EPIC cardholders will receive a black EPIC Card with silver metallic EPIC and Multi Service Aviation logos. All the benefits cardholders have valued in the EPIC Card will continue with the addition of broader acceptance.
“EPIC has tapped into the power of our well-established platform for processing card transactions,” said U.S. Bank Payment Sales and Client Relationship Executive Jeff Rankin. “Adding the EPIC Card as a payment option at all of our FBO-serviced locations makes both the EPIC Card and the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network even more convenient for customers.”
Peerless Electronics is now distributing the full line of Master Lock Aviation Safety Products.
The key/new featured products are aircraft circuit breaker lockout/ tagouts.
The S2329 Master Lock aircraft circuit breaker lockout prevents accidentally
re–energizing an electrical system by locking a circuit breaker in the “off” position. They assist in FAA and OSHA compliance for lockout/tagout (aircraft LOTO) systems. S2329’S universal fit accommodates long or short aircraft circuit breakers, with or without collars.
In addition, Peerless stocks Master Lock S2029 aircraft power receptacle lockouts.
The S2029 Aircraft Power Receptacle Lockouts:
• Maintain the de-energized state of the aircraft electrical system by preventing ground power plug insertion.
• Universal fit accommodates 3 and 6 prong power receptacles.
• S2029 works with all Master Lock and American Lock safety padlocks.
Master Lock circuit breaker lockouts/tagouts and power receptacle lockouts can be ordered separately or in handy all-in-1 kit form 24/7 @
Peerless Electronics is an authorized stocking distributor of most major brands of switches, circuit breakers, relays and sensors for the aviation industry.
Peerless’ quality system is certified to both FAA AC 0056 and AS9100.
El Al has chosen Swiss-AS to provide MRO software. “It is our aim to base our significant MRO activities on a stable and well proven solution in order to align with business practices, to improve M&E processes and to achieve a better integration of the MRO system in EL AL’s application environment,” states Ofer Tsabary, CIO of El Al.
Due to the airline’s wide scope of maintenance services performed in-house, El Al will make extensive use of the functional width and depth of AMOS.
“It is great to have El Al on board and further proof that our user-driven software development is the right approach to meet the community’s expectations,” says Ronald Schaeuffele, CEO of Swiss-AS.
Bill Peterson is a lean consultant and practitioner and creator of the workshops Lean Applied to Business Processes, Disciplines of Speed, and Lead Smarter. He began developing his approach to Lean methodology during a 26-year career with Delta’s TechOps Division. While focused primarily on operational processes, he saw firsthand that the productivity and job satisfaction of frontline workers was often constrained by the impact of processes in other areas such as HR, purchasing, engineering, and sales/marketing. This awareness put him at the forefront of one of today’s most important trends: applying Lean to business processes. He teaches in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Graduate and Executive Education.
This central tenet of operations for the U. S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center was recently established by its Commander, Lieutenant General C.D. Moore, and it captures in just three simple words a universal goal: the need to reduce lead times and cost while ensuring the work is done right the first time. But this goal often creates tension between managers and the work force, especially when safety is at stake.
This was my dilemma as a manager in the ‘90s at an aircraft component repair shop, when my constant challenge was to get components repaired and placed back into stock better, cheaper, and faster. As I communicated this goal to my department, my technicians were adamant about one thing. They would not compromise safety or their livelihood by expediting any process.
And I couldn’t blame them. I was licensed, too—I could absolutely relate. In industries where there is a safety factor for technicians in the execution of tasks, there is a whole different dimension of danger to compromising safety and compliance. And as a manager, I would of course be held accountable for any safety or compliance issues.
But I had a process improvement initiative to implement, and I was getting nowhere. I needed to be able to define how to execute the Speed with Discipline concept in a way that satisfied my conscience and that would alleviate the technicians’ concerns.
I debated about speed versus discipline in my head over and over again, but I continued to spin my wheels until I found a way to articulate, in my own words, how to reconcile the challenge with my own supervisory responsibilities. I needed a compass to guide me for whatever hot requirement arose, be it a flavor-of-the-month request or pressures from my superiors, technicians, inspectors, auditors, or finance department.
I decided that a list of five priorities, in order of importance, would be my compass regardless of the situation.
When it comes to inspecting, maintaining and repairing aircraft, borescopes have been a standard part of the AMT’s toolkit for decades. As borescope technology has advanced over the years, these instruments have become more and more useful in a widening array of aviation-related applications. The key driver behind the growing applicability of borescopes in aviation maintenance is miniaturization.
Industrial RVI (Remote Visual Inspection) has benefited from advanced camera technology, allowing for the creation of smaller and smaller video-based borescopes. As borescopes become smaller—specifically borescope insertion tubes that house the camera and illuminating LEDs—they can be inserted into ever smaller components and pathways, bringing the advantages of RVI to an increasing number of aviation maintenance and repair scenarios. Smaller diameter borescopes are allowing for more inspection points and more applications to capture images without sacrificing high resolution.
“Because the biggest limiting factor for the use of borescopes is accessibility, and as cameras and illuminating LEDs get smaller and smaller, they can be snaked into smaller and smaller areas while still delivering the required level of image quality,” says Edward Thomas, aerospace applications specialist, RF Systems Lab, Traverse City, Mich. “Twenty years ago, the smallest video-based borescopes were 6.0 mm in diameter and required fiberoptic strands for illumination. Over the years, this diameter shrank by 33 percent as 4.0mm diameter video-based borescopes were introduced, some illuminated by fiberoptics and others by ultra-small LEDs. It’s obvious that when you shrink the diameter of a borescope insertion tube, you increase the number of areas in which it will fit, thereby increasing the number of potential applications.”
One potential aviation application that may require agile viewing manipulation is the latest generation of jet engines with smaller blades and smaller access passages. To inspect these engines, a probe is necessary which is either thin enough to pass through the engine, or a probe with high-resolution, longer-range viewing capability. “The combination of high light output and advanced image processing available in GE RVI video probes provides clear inspection images in areas where previous generation products could only provide dark, grainy images unsuitable for making serviceability assessments,” says Thomas Britton, application specialist for aerospace and military markets, GE Measurement & Control, Inspection Technologies division, Skaneateles, N.Y.
Ever since IKHANA Aircraft Services was established in 2007, the company has carved itself a pretty successful niche by providing its customers with capabilities far beyond those of your run-of-the-mill MRO facilities. In fact, IKHANA’s very creation was the result of bringing together of two rather unlikely companies.
“IKHANA Aircraft Services was formed when R.W. Martin, Inc., was combined with Total Aircraft Services, Inc., and brought under single ownership,” explained IKHANA CEO, John Zublin. “R.W. Martin was an aircraft heavy maintenance, major repair and modification facility that specialized in vintage warbird aircraft. At one time we did about 80-percent of the Hollywood movies and television shows that required vintage aircraft and aerial camera support.”
Zublin said that at one time Martin’s fleet consisted of the who’s who of warbirds including P-38s, P-51’s, F4Fs, F6Fs, F8Fs, and more. “We refurbished them all and even had to build a few of them up from the data plate,” he said.
“Total Aircraft Services was an engineering services business that specialized in supporting the development of new aircraft, completions and special missions modifications across a wide variety of airframes,” Zublin said. “They did everything from Gulfstreams to 747s and a few others I can’t talk about.”
Zublin said that even before the two companies were combined they would frequently use each other’s areas of expertise on their individual projects.
“When you build a company like IKHANA you have a couple of choices to make,” he said. “You can either choose just to be another repairer, modifier or maintainer or you can actually work to develop products that will allow you to provide a high level sustainability as a growing business.” IKHANA chose option number two.
Today, IKHANA (a Native American Indian word for “intelligent”) Aircraft Services provides a diverse array of customers with a variety and level of Design-Build-Fly capabilities that one would usually think would be available only from the major aircraft OEMs.