Small Steps to Big Savings with ECM - (An Old Friend with a New Name) 870749
The exploration of substantial money-saving areas of suitable usage for ECM (Electrochemical Metallizing) on aircraft components which are not in the purview of the original equipment manufacturer. The focus of the paper is upon the less spectacular maintenance opportunities rather than the much discussed repair of landing gear and engine components, all of which are strictly controlled by manufacturer's specifications because of safety considerations. Non-critical parts only require documented engineering specifications which are controlled by internal corporate engineering management.
Our objective is to present areas of cost savings available to maintenance departments which have frequently been overlooked in the past. The perceived need is for some presentation of examples of applications which can be found in the normal day-to-day operations of aircraft maintenance activities so that similar opportunities may be identified and acted upon.
General categories to be focused upon will be: Instrument Casings - Electrical Connectors - Printed Circuit Board Contacts - Servo-Motor Shaft and Bearing Fits - Hydraulic Seal Surfaces - Electrical Ground Connectors - EMI and RFI Shielding - Various Anodize Patch Procedures - Slip Rings - Commutators - Actuator Cylinders and Bores - Mechanical Components of Ground Support Equipment -Blower Motor Bearing Refits - Pump Repairs - Cooling Fan Motor Shafts and Bearings - Generator End Bells - Pneumatic Valve Stems and Bores - Compressor Shafts - Accessory Drives and Gear Box Assemblies.
In conclusion, although this audience has been exposed to a full range of Technical papers dealing with more technical accomplishments of ECM, we think that a lot of valuable hardware has been neglected and money lost in areas which are less exciting than plating landing gear without hydrogen embrittlement. The excitement we would like to generate with these ideas has more to do with day-to-day money savings year in and year out. Aircraft maintenance is plagued by more red tape than most industries, but in the area of Avionics and small accessory hardware you have a lot more freedom to accomplish your goals without an inspector breathing down your neck at every move. Our industry has been involved in all the discussed repairs with a variety of manufacturers and military overhaul shops, and we are eager to share them with all of you for our mutual benefit.