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FEATURE COMPRESSED AIR


PROVIDING THE AIR needed for aircraft maintenance


A compressed air system from Atlas Copco is playing an integral role in supporting maintenance procedures carried out by Monarch Aircraft Engineering in Birmingham


A


compressed air system from Atlas Copco is playing an integral role in


supporting maintenance procedures carried out by Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) within its multi-million pound hangar facility at Birmingham International Airport. MAEL’s 110,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility complements the company’s engineering operations at London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports and supports MAEL’s ability to provide both existing and new customers with first class maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Compressed air plays an essential role


in aircraft maintenance procedures so special consideration of the air supply access locations including positioning flexible hose reels and siting floor channels to limit clutter and allow proximity to the point of use was all part of the original system design and procurement process. This approach has enabled optimum utilisation of floor space to accommodate simultaneous maintenance operations on a mix of wide-bodied and narrow-bodied aircraft to be carried out at any time. The Atlas Copco compressor system,


supplied and installed by the company’s premier distributor Air Kraft Ltd based in Coventry, comprises two GA30 VSD FF full-feature, rotary screw compressors and ancillaries. These compressors, each with an integrated refrigerant dryer, supply 7bar quality air for specific applications ranging from combination


with air movers for the ventilation and emptying of aircraft fuel tanks to the operation of air tools for structural fastening and assembly tasks and the blind riveting of fuselage panels. One particular feature of the system is


the 300 metre, multi-drop air ring main constructed from Atlas Copco’s AIRnet modular piping system. The pipework is


Special consideration of the air supply access locations was all part of the original system design and procurement process


These compressors supply 7bar quality air for specific applications including combination with air movers for ventilating and emptying aircraft fuel tanks


COMPRESSOR RENTAL MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE


Wildacre Cosmetics’ manufacturing machinery is mainly pneumatically powered but production problems were common due to the unreliability of two compressors which had been supplied from a tool hire company and were expensive to rent. Thorite's Technical Application Team suggested


the installation of a complete Air Rental Package. This comprised an energy-efficient HPC SM12T compressor complete with an air receiver, oil/water separator unit and all necessary filters. This not only provides completely reliable machinery power but has proved less expensive to rent than the tool hire company equipment. Thorite's Air Rental packages provide both budgetary and performance benefits for customers who are supplied with brand new


8 NOVEMBER 2015 | FACTORY EQUIPMENT


compressor packages for an agreed time period: The scheme is highly tax efficient, rental charges are fixed for up to 60 months, there are no upfront costs, the latest compressor technology is supplied and the equipment fully maintained during the rental period. This ensures reliability, minimal downtime and maximises energy efficiency. “We simply forget it's there,” concludes managing


director Steve Richardson. “We now power four filling lines and a labeller


from the compressor; it is totally reliable and because everything is covered by the Thorite Service Contract we have ongoing peace of mind."


Thorite T: 0800 142 2446 www.thorite.co.uk


made from robust, lightweight, powder- coated aluminium tube and designed for easy, low-cost installation with a large selection of engineered polymer fittings. Readily adaptable, AIRnet low-friction, seamless pipework is corrosion-free so it minimises pressure drop in the system and contributes to energy efficiency. “We were sufficiently impressed with the performance of the Atlas Copco compressed air solutions already installed at our Luton maintenance operation that there was no hesitation in specifying the system for this milestone development with complete confidence,” comments team leader of maintenance, planning and control John Swords. The MAEL facility in Birmingham can accommodate almost every aircraft type in its two bays. It incorporates industry- leading design and build standards and is one of the first to have the capacity for Boeing 787 Dreamliner maintenance with sufficient capacity for wide body aircraft such as the Boeing 777, 747 and Airbus A350. The hangar is large enough to accommodate two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft or 10 narrow-body aircraft and contains numerous component-repair and back shops. The dimensions are impressive; the vast building, covering around 2.5 acres is big enough to house four full-size football pitches, 2,400 Minis or 450 double decker buses.


Atlas Copco T: 0800 181085 www.atlascopco.co.uk


/ FACTORYEQUIPMENT


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