Messier Dowty keeps instruments in check

04 September 2008

Messier Dowty has ordered instrumentation from ABB for five new ovens at its Staverton, UK site. Used in the production of aircraft landing gear the ovens will be fitted with temperature controllers and videographic data recorders, amongst other instruments.

ABB has been supplying instrumentation to Messier Dowty since the 1970s
ABB has been supplying instrumentation to Messier Dowty since the 1970s

ABB is already responsible for servicing and supporting around 200 temperature instruments installed across the site, plus pH and conductivity.

The temperature instruments are used to measure the performance of various processes during the production of the landing gear components, including heat treatment, and surface finishing. The main role of the instruments is to ensure that each process remains within the strict tolerances required for the production of the landing gear components, where even a slight variation could have serious consequences.

‘The stresses placed on aircraft landing gear mean that it is vital that each component is produced to a precise specification,’ said Bob Clow, ABB’s service engineer for Messier Dowty. ‘For example, inaccurate temperature measurement during the heat treatment process could result in components not being properly treated, which could lead to them failing during operation.’

To help avoid problems such as drifting accuracy or failure that could affect production, ABB operates a total of five service contracts for various types of instrumentation across the site, each contract involves regular condition monitoring checks to assess the status of installed equipment.

‘Our focus is on predictive maintenance and keeping the instruments at optimum performance throughout their service life,’ said Clow. ‘This includes everything from routine checks through to installation, commissioning and upgrading of equipment.’

As part of its service contracts, ABB also calibrates and certifies its temperature equipment to the AMS2750 standard. Covering thermal processing equipment used for heat treatment processes, the standard requires manufacturers such as Messier Dowty to show that parts or raw materials are heat treated in accordance with the applicable specifications.

Bob Clow’s own involvement with Messier Dowty began in 1968, when he first visited the site as part of his apprenticeship with Cambridge Instruments. As ABB’s main contact for Messier Dowty, he now spends an average of ten days per month at the site, with additional ABB engineers available if required.

‘Our long-standing involvement with Messier Dowty in providing and servicing temperature instrumentation is built on our understanding of their lifecycle needs and the history of the installed equipment,’ says Bob. ‘This understanding has helped us to establish a reputation for excellent service and has been instrumental in enabling us to grow our business at the site over the years.’

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