Applying Predictive Maintenance to the Aerospace Industry



The Challenge

A successful manufacturer of Aerospace components was confronted with a challenge. Because of their high quality, industries around the world relied heavily on them to produce parts. As a result, they were struggling to keep up with the increased demand.

They began by looking for a partner that was up to the challenge of finding the best fit for their needs.

"We realized we needed to expand production capabilities, and quickly. However, we also required a heat-treating system that could check all of the necessary boxes: short lead time, versatility of processes and optimum brazing performance."

– Plant Manager

 
Winning Outcome

After working together to select the right furnace for their processes, parts and budget, the customer decided on a vacuum heat-treating furnace that would be able to handle the large demand they were experiencing with its 6,000-pound (2,700 kg) load capacity.

They received the system in just 16 weeks, and within days began heat treating parts. They quickly found that their new heat-treating system offered the versatility they were looking for with its ability to run a number of processes and its capability to meet applicable AMS 2750 and Nadcap requirements.

Improved Temperature Uniformity
With a focus on continually optimizing the brazing process and ensuring parts emerge bright and clean, one of the features that stood out to the customer was the furnace's removable center elements.

They soon confirmed that the center heating elements allowed them to achieve greater temperature uniformity while heating up. In addition, the tighter temperature uniformity meant the load could be soaked for a shorter period of time, thus meeting the brazing process expectation of minimizing the time spent at high temperatures.

Achieving Flexibility with Predictive Maintenance
As a bonus, the customer found that they could efficiently and cost-effectively reduce unplanned downtime through their furnace's integration with the PdMetrics® software platform for predictive maintenance. This system securely connects to a network of integrated sensors on the furnace to provide real-time diagnostics that help improve the health and integrity of the equipment.

Now they are equipped to schedule maintenance at off-peak hours and plan for future needs with the PdMetrics platform's ability to identify maintenance trends, deteriorating conditions and more. A powerful addition to their team's toolbox, they can relax knowing they won't be caught off guard and production will be kept on schedule.

"Today we are even more advanced in what we can offer while still providing the services and quality our customers love and expect."

Download the customer story