The aircraft industry has been taking flight in recent years, with global helicopter sales in 2017 expected to amount to almost $5 billion. This massive investment also requires an attention to maintenance for aircraft, which often involves using field balancing equipment. Use this comprehensive field balancing checklist to keep your jobs on track and in line!
Comprehensive Field Balancing Checklist
Field balancing is the technique of balancing rotors in place as they are allowed to run at their typical operating speed with minimum disassembly. This technique can be used when the rotor is accessible to make corrections. When certain fans and blowers are enclosed and inaccessible, field balancing is not an option. When you need to apply the field balancing procedure on your aircraft, make sure to consult this checklist to ensure that you covered every point before and after balancing.
Before you can start the actual balancing, you will have to make sure you have the proper tools, that the environment is right, and that you know all the necessary information about the machine. The essential field balancing equipment that you will need are vibration analyzers, data collectors, portable balancing machines, trial weights, and permanent weights. Make sure you have addressed these questions before balancing:
- Field Balancing Equipment
- Do you have all instruments and accessories you will need and are they in good condition?
- Have the instruments been checked for a full battery charge?
- Will you need any special equipment for balancing?
- Are you performing the field balancing in a hazardous area that requires special precautions?
- Are there extremely high temperatures or humidity that require special procedures?
- When did the vibration problem begin?
- Do you have access to past history of the machine?
- Has anything been done to it recently, such as alignment or bearing replacement?
- Has a vibration analysis been done to conclude that the machine’s problem is definitely unbalance?
- Is the machine that will be balanced clean and buildup-free?
Once you’ve balanced the unit, there are questions you need to check to ensure that the process was handled correctly. If something went wrong during the balancing, there are questions you can ask yourself to get back on the right track.
- If Everything Went According To Plan
- Have you rechecked vibration levels and allowed the machine to reach regular operating conditions?
- Are all safety guards and safety signs in their proper location and installed properly?
- If Things Did Not Go According To Plan
- Have you tried recalibrating the field balancing instrument?
- What assumptions have been made about the unit or instruments that may not be valid?
- Who can you call to help?
While you’ll have the highest hopes that the field balancing process goes well, you’ll want to be prepared for problems to arise. Know who to contact in case you need assistance and have some backup plans ready just in case. And keep this comprehensive field balancing checklist handy!