The aircraft industry continues to struggle over financial losses. Adding to their struggles is the cost of maintaining their fleets. One such cost is fan bearing failure. Maintenance personnel must calculate each fan’s maximum number of operating hours, then remove and overhaul it. Failure of the fans often interrupts normal flight operations. Each fan’s operation capacity before catastrophic failure varies widely because it depends upon a number of variables, such as time in flight, aircraft type, weather conditions, and more.
Inflight Warning Systems Inc., decided it was time to tackle this problem. Its solution was a set of predictive maintenance vibration monitors. The IWS Vibration Monitors are installed onto fans for cabin air recirculation and electrical equipment cooling exhaust and provide early warning of wear on fan bearings. They automatically terminate fan operation when a bearing failure is imminent.
The monitors use sensors from the IMI Sensors division of PCB Piezotronics. Eric Yax, IMI Sensors division manager, expects the sensors, which are common to industrial applications, will encourage manufacturers to continue incorporating industrial technology into the aerospace industry.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, Bearings