CUSTOMER COLLABORATION; PRODUCT ENHANCEMENT
One of Kaney’s advanced servo system actuators is used in a multi-platform advanced flight control system provided by a Tier 1 aerospace manufacturing company. The system has been in reliable operation for over a decade. Recently, a new end user integrated the system into a new platform. In that application, the end user had a need for a unique pre-flight procedure that had not been anticipated in the product specification. This procedure had a potential of causing an intermittent anomaly that might affect dispatch reliability. Kaney’s customer needed a technical solution that would prevent the anomaly from occurring but without causing a major design change, subsequent re-qualification, or potential aircraft integrated system change.
Kaney and its customer performed a collaborative investigation to fully understand the system implications, likely causes for the anomaly and methods to implement a non-impacting change to mitigate end user dissatisfaction. The result was a two-stage program to serve the end customer needs:
- Kaney performed a product screening activity to screen out products that may be more susceptible to the anomaly occurring; to keep the end user aircraft operational while a root cause was identified, and an appropriate solution was implemented.
- Kaney in collaboration with its customer and the end user was successful in identifying root cause. Kaney implemented a very clever minor design change using a very small passive electronic device within its product as a remedy.
The collaborative activity and value solution saved millions of dollars of potential redesign, requalification and fleet retrofit costs and the disruption to end users and owners. Truly an example of “Solutions delivered – Unprecedented velocity”.
Collaborate efforts from Kaney and its customer included considerable system and circuit analysis and an extensive testing program by Kaney and its customer. Laboratory testing was conducted on 2 engineering units. Unit 1 exhibited susceptibility during enhanced screening tests while Unit 2 exhibited no susceptibility routinely surviving 200+ test cycles without an anomaly occurring. Further investigation identified a potential underdamped resonance induced by the out of specification pre-flight procedure in Unit 1. The difference in performance between the two units was attributed to manufacturing tolerances in certain electronic devices. A simple solution was identified by the Kaney design team and implemented with customer acceptance by Kaney manufacturing.