Jim Becker, General Manager
In aircraft construction, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), fasteners are used to assemble engine and body parts together, all of which make up the complete aircraft. In essence then, the aircraft is something that is buttoned together by fasteners. In the last 20 years, due to a fundamental shift in airframe construction, fasteners used to construct aircraft have undergone significant transformation. Legacy aluminum airframes fastened together using soft aluminum rivets have been replaced with more exotic skin materials such as carbon fiber that are fastened together with titanium and certain steel alloys with high strength to weight ratios. The benefits aside however, these newer fasteners are more difficult to remove during the airplane’s lifecycle, when compared to the older aluminum fasteners. The sheer amount of difficulty that technicians experience during disassembly of these new fasteners, results in longer process time, damage, excessive consumable usage, and worker fatigue.
As an engineering services company, Perfect Point EDM, brings a disruptive tool that transforms MRO work through their patented Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) technology. Perfect Point has developed a unique technology solution specifically used to remove hard-metal fasteners from airframe and engine structures.
The company manufactures its E-Drill for the aerospace industry globally to streamline MRO work undertaken by the military and commercial aircraft, helicopters, and engines.
Perfect Point provides technicians with an easy to use fastener remover and helps them disassemble the aircraft quickly. “While seldom thought about, fastener removal is a large part of MRO and the hardest fasteners to drill out are the easiest ones for E-Drill,” mentions Jim Becker, General Manager of the company. On average, E-Drill is typically 20 times faster than conventional drilling equipment and causes no damage to the aircraft. For that reason, Perfect Point’s E-Drill brings an exponential increase in productivity that will get an aircraft back into service faster even when the aircraft is disassembled for major MRO work. E-Drill is also equipped with built-in controls instead of manual control that ensures the utmost accuracy while functioning. The tool is also ergonomically designed to prevent worker fatigue and it produces less noise than a conventional air drill. When conventional fastener removal methods require supremely skilled technicians, the company brings faster, safer, and easier to use the equipment through EDM technology.
Perfect Point’s E-drill consists of a set of electrode cutters connected to a computer-controlled hand tool. The electrode cutters are designed to be slightly smaller than typical fastener stems and gently machine through the fastener head to a pre-programed depth. By properly aligning the E-drill concentrically to each fastener shank, technicians can work confidently, ensuring no damage to the skin or substructure of the aircraft. All of their product variations utilize different fastener locating technology—some using mechanical indexing, while others use high-resolution optical systems.
Becker recalls the story of a Colorado-based aviation company that needed to comply with a mandatory service bulletin for its Bombardier Global Express fleet. The client needed to remove large skin sections on their inboard flaps,and required 500 high-strength blind fasteners. According to the company’s initial estimate, the task was scheduled for 160 hours to complete and expected about 20 holes to be damaged. Using E-Drill the technicians finished the job in 40 hours using E-drill with no damage at all. The client was able to complete the job ahead of schedule all while reducing cost from labor time, hole damage, and replacing dull drill bits.
Moving ahead, Perfect Point is focused on better, faster, and safer applications of their unique technology, as they Revolutionize Fastener Removal-- One Fastener At A Time.