A faster, cleaner, more reliable inspection method
PCRT FOR AIRCRAFT WHEELS
Process Compensation Resonance Testing (PCRT) is a whole-body resonance inspection method that effectively detects damage in wheels and other wheel assembly components with higher quality results compared to liquid penetrant inspection. PCRT also features minimized part handling and does not require paint removal and replacement on every part, saving valuable time and reducing waste.
Efficient Aircraft Wheel Inspections
PCRT provides operators and MROs with a faster, less intrusive, and cleaner NDT method for volumes greater than 50 major overhauls a month. Resonance testing requires removal of hardware but can be done without paint removal, which can significantly shorten testing times. PCRT also requires less training or specialized skill from operators.
Vibrant’s PCRT service screens for outliers in production and in-service components. Resonance frequency data is recorded and analyzed against algorithms and statistical scoring, returning a clear pass/fail result, eliminating operator interpretation.
- Improved efficiency: paint removal not required for PCRT inspection
- High accuracy with a reduction in false reject rates
- Test higher volumes faster than traditional NDT
- Automated testing eliminates subjective operator interpretation
- More sustainable: eliminates excess blasting media, penetrants, and paint waste
- Defects discovered that penetrants and eddy currents miss
- Up to 90% reduction in inspection time
How Wheel & Brake PCRT Works
The disassembled, yet still painted wheel is placed in the PCRT machine. Ultrasonic frequencies pass through the part. Resonance results from these frequencies are compared with advanced pattern recognition to produce an accurate, fast, and automated nondestructive inspection. Wheels or bolts with damage such as cracks, gouges, overtemperature exposure, etc. – are immediately detected and flagged. The process takes less than 30 seconds per bolt or between 3 and 10 minutes per wheel and ends with a green/red light inspection result.
Operators or MROs can arrange to have PCRT equipment installed in their shops or to ship parts to Vibrant for testing. Vibrant bills on a per-wheel-tested model.
Vibrant PCRT Automated Wheel Testing System
PCRT INSPECTION IS AN
In September 2022, Vibrant won the 18th annual Nondestructive Testing Innovation Award recognizing its innovative nondestructive testing (NDT) work with Collins Aerospace on the aerospace supplier’s Novel Resonance Inspection of Commercial Aircraft Wheels project.
Collins Aerospace manufactures and performs MRO on commercial and military aircraft wheel and braking systems. On average, the company produces nearly 16,000 new wheel assemblies and performs roughly 75,000 wheel shop visits in its MRO service centers annually.
For decades, Collins used liquid penetrant inspection as the primary NDT method for inspecting its wheel and brake structures during manufacturing and MRO. The process produces a lot of waste and can be both time consuming and expensive. The company sought another way.
In 2018, Collins joined Delta TechOps and Vibrant’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project to test 737 and 767 wheel halves and tie bolts with PCRT. As a result of the substantial positive data captured during the project, and after further research, Collins partnered with Vibrant in 2021 to install a new pilot agile PCRT system in Collins’ Louisville shop, allowing for the collection of data on an additional 1,200 wheel halves. Collins soon determined resonance inspection shows equivalent sensitivity to traditional methods and is economically viable in the wheel and brake MRO environment.
PCRT went live in Collins’s Wheel and Brake MRO in April 2022. Since that time more than 5,000 wheel halves have been serviced using PCRT and more than 50% of wheel MRO is tested with PCRT.
A Different NDT
If you’re experiencing recurring issues not discovered by your current NDT or are seeking a different kind of inspection that is faster, cleaner, and free of operator interpretation, PCRT is the answer. Contact us today to learn more.