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Non-destructive testing: Fertile Ground for Innovation

The MRO Lab - Adaptive Innovations

Non-destructive testing: Fertile Ground for Innovation

Whether in Amsterdam or in Paris, AFI KLM E&M’s Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) teams are hard at work developing automated solutions and equipping their operations with more robust resources – all with the end result of improved quality standards and reduced TATs.

Non-Destructive Testing has long been an electronics-based field, making it highly conducive to the implementation of upgrades and innovations. Its tools and processes can be freely transposed into digital solutions, bringing direct benefits: by quantifying defects more precisely, the use of image mapping and analysis boosts the quality of testing reports and therefore customer confidence. Automation also saves technicians time, freeing them from cumbersome or repetitive tasks. At AFI KLM E&M, these types of issues are addressed using a practical, results-oriented approach.

Collaborative Robots

By way of example, Daan Haak, Repair Team Leader at AFI KLM E&M’s Amsterdam NDT Department, describes the evolution of eddy current inspections of engine HPT (High Pressure Turbine) discs:

“For several years we’ve had a robot capable of carrying out fully automated inspections for HPT discs. More recently, we worked on programming a transportable co-bot to automate a specific cleaning operation. This innovation was then tested and approved by the teams. The next step is a significant one – starting discussions with OEM to obtain their accreditation.”

Daan Haak

Repair Team Leader at AFI KLM E&M’s Amsterdam NDT Department


Digitized processes

In Paris, Level 3 NDT Manager Frédéric Thiallier has initiated the digitization of a process for measuring the thickness of an airframe using ultrasound:

“Before, we had to trace a grid pattern over the airframe and then enter each measurement into a table by hand. Now, the technicians use 3D-printed grids and place the measuring instruments up against them. The data collected is then automatically transferred into an Excel sheet via their tablet device.”

Frédéric Thiallier

Level 3 NDT Manager

Combined expertise

These projects have been made possible notably through the inclusion of specialist engineers within the teams, who are capable of programming solutions and adapting them to the needs of the technical experts.

“We want to develop more internal tools for inspection and automation, and to set up more and more NDT expert workshops throughout AFI KLM E&M and our entire global MRO network. This is one of the great strengths of an Airline-MRO such as AFI KLM E&M: we have the ability to increase our innovation capacity and pace of development within a cooperative and challenging atmosphere.”

Daab Haak

Repair Team Leader at AFI KLM E&M’s Amsterdam NDT Department


Non Destructive Testing