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|NDT.net Issue - 2010-09 - NEWS |
|Total Platform Allows Flexibility and Performance|
Ahrensburg, Germany - August 26, 2010 - Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has combined an ISOVOLT Titan E X-ray generation system from GEs Inspection Technologies business with a standard internal transport trolley and tractor to create a fully mobile inspection solution to meet the rigorous and varied requirements of the Heavy Maintenance Visits (HMVs) which they carry out at their extensive Hamburg facility. The customized X-ray system offers the flexibility to perform a wide range of aircraft inspections, while maintaining the performance and X-ray power to ensure high quality imaging and improve productivity.
Heavy Maintenance Visits, or D-checks, are the most comprehensive of aircraft inspections and are carried out approximately every 6-10 years. They entail 30,000 to 50,000 manhours of labour over a period of four to six weeks during which the entire structure is inspected to the smallest detail. The engines, the landing gear and the high-lift devices are then dismantled, along with the cabin interior and the wall and signal panels. All electronic, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment is then removed for overhaul and any necessary repair. Naturally, such comprehensive work requires an organization with the specialist skills and facilities and Lufthansa Technik is one of the leading manufacturer-independent providers of maintenance, repair overhaul and modification services in the civil aviation industry. Its headquarters in Hamburg spread out over more than 750,000 m² of the airport, employing around 7000 personnel. Its dedicated Jumbo hall offers space for two Boeing 747s and an Airbus 300.
Radiography is an inspection technique used in D checks. It is applied across the entire aircraft structure, including fuselage, fuel tanks and wings. Specifically, radiography is carried out to detect cracks, especially in highly stressed sections of the structure such as along stringers and frames or in locations, which feature reinforcement. It is also used in the inspection of composite parts such as rudders and flaps to identify any water intrusion. As Dennis von Seelen, NDT-Engineer at LHT, explains: Because of the location of the parts and sections to be inspected, it is vital that any radiography system is mobile, so that it can be moved around the various hangar environments, and flexible, to allow access to a wide range of inspection situations. It must also offer high performance to reduce exposure times, increase productivity and provide the necessary image contrast quality.
Lufthansa Technik has created a mobile inspection system which meets all its operational requirements by fitting an ISOVOLT Titan E in one of the standardized trolleys, which it conventionally uses for the internal transportation of spares and equipment throughout the repair workshops, the complete trolley/generator assembly being moved around by electric tractor. The ISOVOLT Titan E offers a totally, self-contained, radiography platform, comprising X-ray generator, a selection of tubes, user-friendly control and on-board cooling and safety elements. With cable lengths of up to 15m, it allows tubes to be positioned exactly where required and its quick and flexible set-up procedure permits fast inspection times, especially important when some work must be carried out during night shifts within tight time constraints. Productivity is also enhanced by the systems high performance at high mA, which reduces exposure times, so increasing the number of inspection shots per shift.
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