in Aerospace

AEM introduces heat exchanger flush and test capability

Posted 6 April 2022 · Add Comment

AEM — a brand of AMETEK MRO and overhaul and repair provider offering specialist services for aircraft windings, electrical power, hydraulic components, landing gear, and safety equipment — has introduced a comprehensive heat exchanger flush and test capability to its Ramsgate facility.

Image courtesy AMETEK MRO

The introduction of the service, which is currently provided by AEM’s sister brand, Drake Air, has necessitated an investment of approximately $200,000. This investment has gone to upgrades to the facility in addition to new test equipment. The introduction of the heat exchanger flush and test capability has required alterations to the facility’s layout, including an upgrade to its power supply.

Andy Wheeler, DVP and Managing Director of AEM, explains that if a component is not currently on AEM’s capability list but it presents a sound business opportunity, the capability development procedure is implemented. He confirms that this is a method utilised by AEM to remove any elements of risk from the product as well as ensure that each product criteria is met and identified correctly. This process covers a complete market review comprised of customers, competitors, quality, technical/tooling, export control, and materials.

“The addition of the heat exchanger capability means that AEM is able to offer clean flush, full in-house testing, minor repairs, and full overhaul,” said Wheeler. “We also hope to be able to add TIG welding to our capability portfolio in the near future. We will be offering this capability for Liebherr units on A320 family aircraft, as well as Honeywell units on B737. The advantage of establishing this capability by using state-of-the-art technology throughout the design is that it allows AEM to align itself with the most efficient processes focused on quality, turnaround time, and customer satisfaction.”

“This has, of course, necessitated a significant investment,” continues Wheeler. “The facility underwent a reconsideration of layout, as well as the addition of specialist equipment such as an air flow test stand, drying oven, cleaning and degreasing machine, pressure test tank, crane, and hoist.” 

AEM’s sister brand Drake Air provided virtual training for AEM using the latest Help Lightning smart glasses technology.

“The use of virtual reality training has been invaluable, especially during this period of travel disruption due to COVID-19. Being able to upskill our workforce on site has enabled us to deliver this capability on time with minimum disruption. This is definitely a tool we will use in the future,” concluded Wheeler.

AEM anticipates that the average turnaround time for testing will be around 10 days, with repair or overhaul expected to be completed within 14 – 28 days.  Additionally, while AEM forecasts an average of 500 units will pass through the shop per year, it remains fully committed to sustainability. All water used during this process is fully recycled and reused, with ionised water avoiding contamination of natural impurities, such as limescale during the cleaning process. The Ramsgate facility will recycle 95% of all water used back to drinking water standard.

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