Nacelles are darned tight places to work and a long way up. There is room only for essentials so it makes sense to carry the lightest of those. Such conditions have guided tool redesigns to lower weight, smaller size, and more capability. A few that highlight the trends are these:
A videoscope weighs only 700 g (1.5 lb) with its lithium-ion battery. The Iplex is so small and light that the company says it is useful for inspectors who works in areas with limited access or in cramped spaces, such as nacelles, or have to navigate narrow stair cases and steep ladders. The scope tip quickly and accurately responds to articulation by a thumb control and approaches targets precisely for fast and efficient inspections.
The unit, good for inspecting hard to see surface in gearboxes and bearings, comes with a range of interchangeable optical-tip adaptors. In addition, a bright LED on the tip adaptor clearly illuminates targets. The manufacturer says the unit tolerates rain, sand and dust, and is compliant with IP55. It is said to produce brilliant images even in sunlight.
Two additional articulating video borescopes feature two-way articulation (± 120°) with on-board (stand-alone) image processing and battery-powered operation. The model TTSVS.6-1 has a braided, stainless steel, waterproof 1-m insertion tube with a 5.7-mm diameter. The tube is resistant to oil, fuel, and 3.5% concentrated saltwater. Model TTSVS.6-3, identical to the first, sports a 3-m insertion tube. The units come with a high-resolution 3.5-in. LCD screen with 320 x 240 pixels resolution for clear images. Four built-in LED lights with intensity control and automatic white balance enhance image quality.
In keeping with equipment for working in small spaces, a company that created a way to connect mechanics hand tools together with automatic locking has introduced a slim line set of tools (ratchets, sockets, and extensions) called Black Knight. These were developed in response to a request for low profile locking tools on behalf of the U.S. military. Because they are slimmer than the base of even the smallest socket, they successfully reach into tight spaces inaccessible with other tools. Still, the tools are strong and certified to aerospace and ANSI strength standards.
The system also uses a new patented, spring-loaded locking plunger to create a wedge effect when a user exerts force on the socket or tool attachment. It provides many times the holding force of the standard spring-loaded ball detent of old-style tools. The hold on the attachment increases when a pull force is exerted rather than exceeding the hold as with old-style tools.
In studies, the tools were safer and faster than conventional tools. Moreover, because all tools connect together to eliminate the fear of unintended tool disconnects, users were found to work in less stressful postures, thereby extending the beneficial work life and productivity of the skilled worker.
A manufacturer of portable electronic test and measurement equipment has made available the Fluke 430 Series II Three Phase Power Analyzers. The tools use a patented algorithm to measure energy wasted by power-quality issues and quantify its cost. By providing ROI data to justify power-quality improvements, the tests helps facilities reduce electrical-power consumption and improve the performance and lifespan of electro-mechanical equipment. Applications include energy monetization — calculating the cost of energy waste due to poor power quality, power inverter efficiency, and load studies to verify electrical system capacity before adding loads.
The updated model has up to 32 GB (8 GB standard) memory, a swappable SD memory card, and USB connectivity for longer power and energy logging, and faster data download. Screen quality and battery life are improved while the on-board software gives users more options to analyze power quality and power consumption. WPE
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