VOL. 3 August ISSUE YEAR 2002


in Vol. 3 - August Issue - Year 2002
So many parts, so little time!

Table and lance

Table and lance

Log roller unit

Log roller unit

Generic fixture

Generic fixture

Brake piston housing

Brake piston housing

Wheel half peening

Wheel half peening

In the Spotlight

Progressive Technologies designs and builds standard and custom automated process machinery for aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment and general industry applications. They specialize in systems for grit blasting, shot peening, high pressure waterjet stripping and thermal spray coating including air plasma, HVOF and their new 100HE(tm) high enthalpy plasma.

Air Canada's Multi-Purpose Shot Peening Cell provides quick turn around of a wide range of structural and undercarriage parts for this R & O center.

Anyone who's picked up a newspaper or trade magazine in the last couple of years must realize the Commercial Airline Industry is going through a struggle for survival. We've seen time honored airlines fall to bankruptcy, we've seen the impact of Sept. 11 on the travel industry and have watched the airlines fight for market share.

Just like evolution, only the strongest and swiftest will survive. Many airlines have looked at their operation as two distinct businesses. One part is the business of people handling and the second part is the business of aircraft handling.

Air Canada looked closely at their handling of aircraft, specifically repair and overhaul. Air Canada operates a fleet of A-340's, A-330's, A-320's, A-319's, B-747's, B-767's, B-737's and CRJ's. In addition Air Canada is contracted to maintain components and engines for other airlines and freight carriers and has become a renowned A320 and CRJ specialist. After reviewing their operation, Air Canada made some changes and investments in the R&O sector. Air Canada's R&O shop had to become more like a customer driven Job Shop than a Captive Facility. This article focuses on the changes Air Canada made in their Shot Peening Department.

Lean Manufacturing Techniques

Under the guidance of Engineer Collin Charest and Operators Ghislain Morais and Peter Nicoll, Air Canada looked to reduce the manual set-ups and peening cycle times while increasing the repeatability and reliability of the process. The shot peening area needed to adopt Lean Manufacturing techniques and become more flexible.  To this end, Air Canada installed two (2) Progressive Technologies Computer Controlled Shot Peening Cells.  One cell handles three (3) different medias and is dedicated to small components such as actuators, gears and sub-assemblies. The peening cell highlighted here is the Multi-Purpose Shot Peener, used for peening landing gear, brakes, wheels and large structural sub-assemblies.

a) Product
Air Canada shot peens the following "growing" list of parts on the Multi-Purpose Shot Peener: Nose Landing Gear (NLG) - axles, barrels, pistons and shock struts. Main Landing Gear (MLG) - outer cylinders, pistons, pins and boggie beams. Wheels - inner and outer wheel halves. Brakes - piston housings. Actuator Cylinders.

Currently Air Canada has 133 different components scheduled to be shot peened in the Multi-Purpose Shot Peener with more parts to be added in the near future.

b) Features
The Multi-Purpose Shot Peener was custom designed to Air Canada's requirements and includes features such as; a pit-less design, less than 80 dBA sound level, automatic 3 media selection, automatic media replenishing, touch screen PC/PLC control, Almen Saturation Curve Solver software and turn-key installation.

The parts to be peened are supported and moved into position by a 2 + 1 axis work cart. There is a 2 axis horizontal lance provided to shot peen large bores and act as a tool holder for "quick attachment" tooling changes.

The electrical control package provides closed-loop control of air pressure, shot flow and part/nozzle speeds and positioning.  The software is PROGRESSIVE TECHNOLOGIES' own PRIMS (Process Reporting Integrated Monitoring System).  The PRIMS software provides secure log-on for operators and maintenance workers, editing and storage of part programs, shut-down parameter settings, I/O monitoring, process monitoring and integrated Preventive Maintenance Program that monitors and schedules PM work.

A large and long heavy-duty horizontal lance is used for peening large bores and a small rotary lance drive is provided for peening small bores. Two nozzles are included for peening the external surfaces of parts and a manual nozzle is provided for "spot peening".

The work cart is designed to support and locate, dedicated and generic part holding fixtures. The work cart also has a Power Take-Off (PTO) drive that accepts a small turntable for peening small cylindrical parts.  The PTO can also drive rollers on the "log-roller" part fixture when peening the external surfaces of cylindrical parts.

c) Usage
Air Canada uses the horizontal lance for peening long ID surfaces of  MLG & NLG outer cylinders and pistons. See picture horizontal lance. The peening cabinet is sized to allow the horizontal lance to peen a  B-747 MLG cross-bore. A smaller diameter lance can be easily fitted on the horizontal lance in place of the short carbide nozzle, this allows peening of smaller bores such as 1" and 2" diameter up to 48" long.

Since the heavy-duty horizontal lance is very robust and the outer tube does not rotate, Air Canada mounts a small rotary lance unit on the end of the horizontal lance for peening very small vertical bores.  The horizontal lance and the 2 -axis work cart operate in concert, allowing shot peening of brake piston housings in one set-up.    

The work cart PTO is fitted with a turntable and stationary nozzles are mounted to the horizontal lance for peening wheel halves or small parts on the turntable. The horizontal lance positions the nozzle(s) and the 2-axis work cart moves the part in front of the nozzle(s). 

External surfaces of complex components such as MLG outer cylinders are peened with the stationary nozzles directed 45 degrees to the work plane. The horizontal lance and 2-axis work cart work in concert to peen one half of the component, the component is turned over and the opposite side is peened the same way.

Both the horizontal lance and the work cart serve many functions on the Multi-Purpose Shot Peener. Set-ups are minimized, cycle times are reduced and the peening process is highly repeatable.

"Acquisition and installation of state of the art equipment like this shot peening machine is helping Air Canada to maintain and enhance its position as a leading R&O and full service Provider"  Dave Diggle, V.P., Component Maintenance, Air Canada Technical Services (ACTS).

For Information:
4201 Patterson SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512 USA
Tel: +1.616.957.0871
Fax: +1.616.957.3484
E-mail: ptisales@ptihome.com www.ptihome.com

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