Technology & Digital Innovation

Start your engine

The Parthenopean test cell is ready to welcome a range of different engine configurations, thanks to a brilliant operational and functional restyling.

The test cell in the production site in Pomigliano d’Arco now has a new versatile, multi-functional layout, capable of testing and therefore carrying out thousands of working cycles on various types of commercial engines, thanks to three innovative new elements: a multi-purpose adaptor for GE and CFM engines, a new workstation configuration and a fully updated data acquisition and control system.

 

Indeed, the introduction of a multi-purpose multiple adapter, known as the Park Bench Adapter, will enable the main and newest aeronautical engines on the market to be transported, such as GEnx 1-b, Passport 20, best-seller CFM56 and Leap 1-b, its heir. 

‘’Currently, we are capable of testing all the engines that we receive in the test cell using a single instrument, the Park Bench Adapter, which could be defined as a universal adapter for GE and CFM engines’’ explains Francesco Gaudino, manager of the Test Cell in Pomigliano.

The new adapter is fitted with a dual interface, and this system enables it to hook on to and lift all the different types of engines that arrive in Pomigliano, and immediately transport them to the workstation, where the fitting and preparatory operations are performed.

“On the new workstation we set up the outer configuration of the engine and prepare it to be switched on once inside the true test cell” Francesco Urbani, Testing Specialist of the site in Pomigliano; while thanks to the upgraded console with new touch screens and monitors, we have a better control on the engine tests” says in addition Flavio Albano, another Testing Specialist.

‘This new layout for the workstation currently provides us with the tools for equipping all the GE and CFM engines with data sensors, and for assembling the large external components, such as the outer casing (the characteristic part covering the engine that can be seen on planes) and the air scoop” concludes Francesco Gaudino.

 

At this point, the engine is now ready to roar inside the large test cell: during each test, we collect data on over 300 different parameters, based on the thousands of working cycles that electronically simulate all the conditions in which the engine operates: starting up, stopping at minimum speed, take-off and landing.

These are all complex operations that produce a huge volume of data: thanks to the new data acquisition and control software and hardware, the data extracted therefore goes from 100 to 300 pieces. Not just static data, such as temperature and pressure, but also frequency data, thanks to the dynamic channels that we are capable of installing on the sensors.

The large test cell is therefore ready and raring to go, eager to host the next new generation engine that is due to be switched on before long, the LEAP-1b for the new Boeing 737-MAX.

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