SwedishAirForceSept10CTL has been invited to present at the European Corporate Aviation Summit inLinköping,Sweden, at the beginning of September.  CTL will address the attendees on the subject of reducing maintenance costs through System Integrity and Intermittent Fault Detection solutions.

The Summitwill be held on 2nd-3rd September 2010 at theSwedishAirForceMuseum near Linköping, which is the heartland of the Swedish aviation industry.

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And MTBF Doubled

And a Further $1M a Year Maintenance Savings

 

MLPRF_on_benchNcompass test technology, and its unique Intermittent Fault Detection capability continues to rack up huge successes on a major project in theUS. It is being used to undertake intermittent fault detection testing of Modular Low Power Radio Frequency (MLPRF) assemblies (picture right) from the F16 fleet. This was a Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) with a major history of ‘No Fault Found’ problems, predominantly manifested as a significant number of ‘No Fault Found’ occurrences at Depth repair.

72% of the MLPRFs had been returned for repair between 2 to 6 times within the last 10 years; at the far extreme, 2 individual MLPRFs had been returned 17 times in the same 10 year period! The end result of this was that the MLPRF repair bay had accumulated 109 MLPRFs that were deemed "unrepairable".

The NCompass’ IFD capabilities were brought to bear and the situation soon began to change dramatically. To date, 69 of the 109 "unrepairable" MLPRFs have had the intermittent faults, which had been at the root cause of their No Fault Found problems, detected successfully. All 69 have since been repaired and returned to service: at $307k per LRU, this represents recovery of over $21M-worth of assets to date. Meanwhile, the remaining 40 "unrepairable" MLPRFs have also been tested and now await parts to enable the requisite repairs to take place.

The effects of this Ncompass test programme are such that the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) statistic for the MLPRF have increased from 301 flying hours to 656 flying hours. These MTBF increases mean fewer repairs and so this alone is projected to enable additional maintenance costs savings, forecast at a further $1.1M, year on year.

All of this information, including a further case study (F16 Azimuth/Elev ribbon cable) was presented at the May 2010 US Airworthiness & Sustainment conference (formerly known as the 'Aging Aircraft' conference) in Texas. To see the full presentation go this link.

Want to know more? Click on the major links above, for ‘Services’ or ‘Test Equipment’.

Or contact us

London Lancaster Hotel, 27/28 Apr 2010

 

AandD_KTNCTL exhibited at this major conference in London on the 27th and 28thof April.  The aim of the conference was to bring together those involved in Research & Technology in the UK A&D sector against a background of 3 main themes: Technology, Investment and Engagement.  This approach complements the key objectives of the A&D KTN, which are to:

“deliver measurable improved industrial performance by facilitating the innovation processes and enabling the collaborative arrangements that will deliver the National Aerospace Technology Strategy; and to act as the coherent voice of the A&D community in informing Government and research funding agencies about science, innovation and technology issues relating to the sector”.

The format of the conference included a programme of speakers over both days, plus lunch and networking breaks to allow attendees to take in the exhibitors display.  There was a wide range of attendees from all elements of the A&D community from academia, industry and Government departments, leading to some lively plenary session and Q&A discussions.

Airworthiness & Maintenance ConferenceFollowing the success of their technical paper that was presented at the CEAS2009 European Air & Space Conference, we are intending to present 2 more papers at this year’s Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Airworthiness & Maintenance conference.  The conference will be held at Cranfield University on September 16th and it is entitled “Reducing Maintenance Costs Through Innovation”.  The theme of the conference is stated by the RAeS as follows:
In the current economic climate the need for cost reduction within both commercial and military aviation is becoming ever more critical.  Airframe, powerplant and component maintenance represent a significant part of ongoing operating costs.  How can these costs be safely driven down without compromising airworthiness?
In other words, this is right up our street!  We are proposing to present 2 papers, entitled:

•    The System Integrity Approach to Reducing the Cost Impact of ‘No Fault Found’ and Intermittent Faults

•    Using Standardised Data Capture and Analysis to Maximise Assets and Minimise Maintenance Costs and also Reduce ‘No Fault Found’

Click on the title above to download a copy of the Abstract.

If you would like a copy of these technical papers after the conference (16 Sep 2010) then contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


EMAPS

Copernicus Technology Ltd headed for the stars on 17th Feb 2010…..via the University of Portsmouth.  The University was hosting the inaugural Electronic Materials & Assembly Processes for Space (EMAPS) workshop, which brought together professionals in the fields of space and high-reliability electronics. This event was hosted by the department of Electronic & Computer Engineering (ECE).  The day’s activities kicked off with a welcome talk by Dr David Arrel, Pro Vice Chancellor, before handing over to Dr Barrie Dunn to chair the day’s events.  Dr Dunn is the Manufacturing Technology Adviser to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Head of Product Assurance & Safety Dept.

The workshop featured presentations from a wide range of experts in the field of High Reliability Electrical, Electronic and Electromechanical (EEE) components from across the whole of Europe.  It was clear from the discussions at the workshop that a huge amount of effort is devoted to ensuring that the assembly of high reliability EEE components and systems is 'right first time, every time' and that the major factors which underpinned this included materials selection, training and detailed standards.  There was a large degree of discussion about materials' mechanical and chemical properties, and how to assess this using non-destructive methods at different stages of the design and assembly processes, but there did not appear to be significant evidence of using any particular electrical/electronic testing methods to assure build/circuit integrity.  In the EMAPS sector, circuit integrity during manufacture was predominantly confirmed using functional tests or by visual inspection using microscopes.  The combination of all the aforementioned approaches appear to be succeeding in producing high reliability EEE items for Space-related usage, so the overall development of test and evaluation methods is no doubt progressing by evolution and not revolution.

After the workshop we discussed with Dr Dunn how CTL could support the sector by applying the unique capability of the Ncompass-4000 to Product Assurance activity.  Dr Dunn believed that the Ncompass approach should be examined closely to quantify the potential benefit to EMAPS and has encouraged his colleagues at ESTEC (ESA’s research and technology centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands) to do so.  In addition, as a consequence of our discussions with Dr Dunn, CTL has been invited to present at ESA’s Paris conference in May of next year.

As a historical footnote, it is fitting that Copernicus Technology Ltd should turn its attention to Space-related activities because it was Nicoulaus Copernicus (1473-1543), the Polish-born astronomer who initiated the ‘Copernican Revolution’, which determined that the Earth was not at the geometric centre of the Universe.  He was unconstrained by the conventional theories of the day: a sentiment that we at CTL can appreciate.

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As the United States fleet of military aircraft age, the maintenance of aircraft electronic Line Replaceable Units (LRU) and Weapons Replaceable Assemblies (WRA) poses an ever increasing challenge. Much of the challenge is related to intermittent faults that occur because of aging wiring and connections. These intermittent problems manifest themselves as “Bad Actor” LRUs/WRAs or as repair shop No Fault Found (NFF) and Cannot Duplicate (CND) test results.  Read more...

National Technical Committee

Following our attendance at the CEAS2009 European Air & Space Conference, CTL met with the team who run theUK’s Aerospace and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network (A&D KTN).  The A&D KTN is managed by the A|D|S Group Limited (previously: Society of British Aerospace Companies), by an independent full-time staff dedicated to delivering the objectives of the A&D KTN.  The key objectives of the A&D KTN are to

“deliver measurable improved industrial performance by facilitating the innovation processes and enabling the collaborative arrangements that will deliver the National Aerospace Technology Strategy; and to act as the coherent voice of the A&D community in informing Government and research funding agencies about science, innovation and technology issues relating to the sector”.

 

CTL have become a member of the A&D KTN and have also gone on to join its National Technical Committee (NTC) on Health Management & Prognostics (HMaP).  The A&D KTN runs a number of NTCs, which have been set up to advise the KTN, Government and Industry on key technological themes, as well as the future research and technology priorities that should be invested in.  Jim Cockram will be attending the next HMaP NTC on the 3rd of March at Rolls-Royce Bristol, and as part of the agenda he will be delivering a company presentation on CTL’s expertise and products to those present, who include representatives from BAE SYSTEMS, Airbus UK, Cosworth, QinetiQ, Messier-Dowty and academia.

We will provide news on the meeting in due course.

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by Elizabeth Engler Modic, Senior Editor of Aerospace Manufacturing and Design

Intermittent Fault Detectors address the all too familiar No Fault Found and Cannot Duplicate situations within the avionics repair and maintenance business.

Aging aircraft electronic boxes often pose huge maintenance challenges, and maintenance cost management challenges, across all aviation operations. Subsequent to a malfunction during flight, an avionics assembly often tests "good" or "No Fault Found" when bench tested. The avionics repair and maintenance shop dispositions the box No Fault Found (NFF) or Cannot Duplicate (CND) during the ground test, and sends it back into service, only to have the intermittent malfunction reoccur. Read more...

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