AMETEK company AEM introduces heat exchanger flush and test capability

AEM has introduced a comprehensive heat exchanger flush and test capability to its facility in Ramsgate, UK.

The introduction of the service, which is currently provided by AEM’s sister brand Drake Air, has necessitated an investment of approximately US$200,000, AEM said.

This investment has gone into upgrades to the facility in addition to new test equipment, the company noted. 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.

AEM is a brand of AMETEK MRO, offering specialist services for aircraft windings, electrical power, hydraulic components, landing gear and safety equipment.

The company’s DVP and managing director Andy Wheeler noted that if a component is not currently on AEM’s capability list but presents “a sound business opportunity, the capability development procedure is implemented”. This method is 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, he said. 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 the 737. 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. 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.”

Drake Air provided virtual training for AEM using ‘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,” said Wheeler. “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.”

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. The company forecasts an average of 500 units will pass through the shop per year,

In line with its commitment to sustainability, AEM said all water used during the process would be 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 per cent of all water used back to drinking water standard, the company added.

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