The second benefit is that the system facilitates accurate troubleshooting. “Each time there is any weight on the wheels, the Zing system sends a load of engine data to the owners or operators, tech services, or to an analyst. Within minutes after an engine fault or shutdown occurs, with the push of a button and a few mouse clicks, analysis can be made, and other experts notified. With the Zing system, the AMT now has expert help to accurately identify root causes to engine events and perform or recommend the most appropriate corrective action. This is particularly useful in locations that have limited maintenance support. Having access to detailed data vastly improves the maintainer’s troubleshooting efficiency.”
Customers like Herman “Fred” White, an aircraft maintenance manager, enthusiastically endorses the remote diagnostic system. Per White, “The Honeywell Zing service works great; it’s easy to use and it saves us about one hour of labor for each download. The ability to see up-to-date engine performance trends and faults globally gives us an added measure of confidence and peace of mind.”
According to White, “If one of our engines has a fault, both myself and a Honeywell tech rep get a buzz on our cell phones, and within a few minutes we know what is wrong, how serious it is, what we need to do, and can get our resources moving in the right direction to quickly fix the problem. This system can help the flight crews understand engine faults. This helps maintenance, the flight crews, and passengers make better flight dispatch decisions.”
From my perspective, the big benefit for the AMTs is the access to an expert performance support system available 24/7 to improve the efficiency of their troubleshooting. Honeywell states that this system can reduce troubleshooting time by as much as 60 percent.
White agrees with this figure as well. “The cost of this system is small compared to the data that you get and time you save. You may go for months and or longer without seeing some problems, and you have a tendency to forget details,” White explains.
“This system helps you focus and move down the right troubleshooting path quickly without having to go back and refresh your memory by reviewing maintenance manuals,” White says.
This time savings is realized every time the list of recommended tests is prepared, and the most logical corrective action identified within minutes. Further, information is presented in an on-screen “Dashboard,” along with the appropriate maintenance manual and illustrated parts catalog pages, all of which can be shared with technical experts in field services, product engineers, and onsite support staff from the OEM, as well as the experts at Honeywell or its partner Jet-Care that provides worldwide engine trend analysis.
Equipment and training
The onboard avionics equipment required for remote diagnosis are the Engine Condition Trend Monitoring Data Down Loader (ECTM-DD) and remote control panel. These components weigh less than 4 pounds, and support up to three digital electronic engine controllers (DEEC) simultaneously. The onboard systems work collaboratively with system components located on the ground.
The system is operated by the push of one button and a few clicks of a mouse. The ECTM-DD gathers and transmits data when there is weight on wheels and the button on a remote panel is pressed by the pilots, maintenance, or any other qualified person. According to White, one of the challenges of this current system is repeatedly reminding the flight crews to remember to push that one button to keep the data refreshed!
Stephen Eagleton, the product manager for Zing Intelligent Monitoring system, affirms that the system is straightforward and easy to use, and a 10- to 15-minute training session is usually all that is required to get customers up and running.
Most AMTs can operate the Dashboard without training and can quickly navigate to their customized Dashboard with a few clicks. Once there, the AMT answers four simple questions: What happened? How bad is it? What do I need to do? How do I fix it? From this data a work plan is created with recommended tests, the most probable root cause, and a suggested corrective action plan that includes likelihood percentages, part name, and number. “With the detailed work plans the system provides,” Eagleton states, “maintainers can now defend their recommendations and actions to their CEOs and the accountants.”
Zing enables rapid data downloads, early problem detection and faster return to service.
Honeywell offers Zing, a remote aircraft diagnostic service for aircraft equipped with TFE731 engines. Zing is a service package that includes avionics hardware, wireless connectivity, and...
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