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The Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium (FMMS) 2014 is specifically designed to provide valuable information and networking opportunities for those who are involved in maintenance, refit, repair, conversion, modernization, service, and support of naval ships and craft. The theme for FMMS 2014 is “Delivering Readiness in Austere Times.”

A recent and exciting announcement regarding FMMS is that the Department of the Navy has approved government participation for FMMS 2014. This means that registration is free for all military and government personnel and participation by local government and military personnel at no cost to the government is authorized subject to local command approval.

FMMS offers attendees and exhibitors many educational “bonus” opportunities. One example is the Ship Tour, which allows interested parties a chance to gather at the Norfolk Naval Base and tour one of the amphibious ships on Monday, September 8th.

Joel Riling, RF System Lab’s VP of Government Programs and retired Naval Commander will once again be onsite exhibiting the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope at this year’s FMMS. He is looking forward to introducing fellow naval professionals involved with the maintenance and care of ships and craft to the versatile, fully-articulating VJ-ADV and showing them how it can simplify their remote visual inspections. Riling will be located at booth #F08 – make sure to stop by and test out the joystick-controlled VJ-ADV.

View the 2014 Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium (FMMS) website here.

See the VJ-Advance in the Virginia Beach Convention Center during these dates and times:

Opening Time: Exhibits open 8:00 am on Monday, September 8th
Conference Dates: September 8-10, 2014
Venue: Virginia Beach Convention Center

Booth: #F08

We look forward to seeing you there! If you are unable to attend the symposium don’t forget, you can still checkout the VJ-ADV articulating video borescopes on the RF System Lab website! For more information, call us toll free at (888) 747-6526.

Fall trade show season is right around the corner, and RF System Lab has another few months packed full of shows and expos all over the USA (and even one in Canada). Since we are heavily involved in a variety of industries, we try to exhibit at shows that represent as many industries as possible so that we can create connections and stay up to date on all of the industries we serve. Therefore, we would like this blog to act as a preview for the trade shows, conference, expos, symposiums, and annual meetings that we will be attending in the month of September. We would love to meet you if you are in attendance!

Turbine Engine Tech Symposium  - September 8-11, 2014

The Turbo Engine Tech Symposium (TETS) is a biennial forum where the United States’ turbine engine community gathers to review and discuss the latest turbine engine technology advances. Over three days of technical presentations, supported by relevant hardware displays, will underscore the United States’ commitment to advance the state of the art in gas turbine engine technology.

Edward Thomas will be providing demos of the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope to an audience of approximately 1000 engineers, scientists, managers, and operational personnel from the the turbine engine community, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, DARPA, DOE, FAA, engine and aircraft manufacturers, material and component suppliers, and academia. Visit RF System Lab at booth #310.

(Source: TETS Website)

ASNE-FMMS – September 9-10, 2014

The Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium (FMMS) 2014 is specifically designed to provide valuable information and networking opportunities for those who are involved in maintenance, refit, repair, conversion, modernization, service, and support of naval ships and craft. The theme for FMMS 2014 is “Delivering Readiness in Austere Times.”

Joel Riling, RF System Lab’s VP of Government Programs, will be at FMMS to present the VJ-ADV at booth #F08.  Riling is looking forward to showing the naval maintenance industry how the 4-way articulating VJ-ADV can assist them with their internal inspections.

(Source: ASNE)

US/Canada Border Conference – September 16-17, 2014

US/Canada Border Conference is the only major Conference fully addressing the “Beyond the Border” Declaration between the US and Canada aimed at improving economic competitiveness while advancing border security between the two countries. This conference gives attendees and exhibitors a chance to connect and network with the people responsible for implementing the Beyond the Border Action Plan, and tap into billions of dollars being invested by the US and Canadian governments for equipment, products and services over the next decade!

RF System Lab is proud to be a sponsor for this conference and will have Joel Riling on site to provide information about the VJ-ADV and how the groundbreaking video borescope can assist in border security efforts. Make sure to stop by RF System Lab’s table top display to learn more and say hello to Joel.

(source: Beyond Border)

Canadian Rail Summit – September 21-23, 2014

This year’s RSI/CMA Canadian Rail Summit 2014 is taking place in Montreal, Quebec. With Canadian National being headquartered in Montréal and their President and CEO Claude Mongeau as the keynote speaker, this will be the ideal location for rail suppliers to promote products to Canadian railroads.

The exhibit hall at RSI/CMA 2014 will feature over 120 exhibitors at the Palais des congrés. Expect to see the latest technology in the rail supply industry as new technologies are displayed and opportunities to make new connections are all around. Edward Thomas will be among those exhibitors, onsite to introduce the VJ-ADV to the railway maintenance industry. If you’re in attendance, visit booth #324 to see how the VJ-ADV makes tank car maintenance stress-free.

(Source: Railway Supply Institute)

A4A NDT Forum – September 22-25, 2014

The A4A Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Forum enables NDT professionals and industry leaders to meet each year and discuss current trends, issues and successes in NDT methodologies. The Forum draws participants from various disciplines, including equipment designers, technicians, vendors, regulatory authorities, OEMs, MROs and airline personnel.

The Forum exhibit hall features displays, including the latest NDT and related equipment, processes and services. Borescope expert Jess Kuznicki is representing RF System Lab at this conference and will be hosting a hospitality suite in addition to exhibiting at booth #14. Kuznicki is looking forward to meeting A4A NDT attendees and exhibitors and invites them to connect at his hospitality suite to learn more about the VJ-ADV after Monday and Tuesday’s scheduled programs wrap-up.

(Source: Airlines for America)

Turbo & Pump Symposium – September 23-25, 2014

Built on a history of success, the Pump/Turbo Symposia is an event you can’t afford to miss. This annual event features a world-class technical program combined with an international exhibition complete with full-size equipment and hundreds of leading companies. The Turbomachinery Laboratory sponsors two annual symposia (Turbo and Pump), held in the Fall of each year, to promote professional development, technology transfer, peer networking, and information exchange among industry professionals.

Both symposia feature lectures, tutorials, case studies, discussion groups, and short courses, as well as exhibits of the latest services and full-sized equipment. These international meetings emphasize the technology and troubleshooting that users need in today’s challenging workplace. RF System Lab’s Casey O’Tool will be among those putting emphasis on important technology by providing demos of the VJ-ADV at the symposia exhibit hall. Test out the trigger-controlled image capture and four way articulation for yourself when you stop by booth #1335.

(Source: Turbomachinery/ Pump Symposia)

 

If you are unable to make it to any of these shows, we hope to see you at one of the other trade shows we are attending. Check out a full list of where you can try out the VJ-ADV on the RF System Lab website. If you would simply like to speak to one of our borescope experts about demoing the VJ-ADV for free at your own facility, sign-up for our no cost, no obligation demo program or call 888-747-6526 for more information.

Investing in any maintenance or inspection tool for power plants is a big purchasing decision. With a high-quality video borescope, you’ll find that the value and ROI far exceed any doubt that comes with a buying decision. That is why RF System Lab’s borescope experts want to provide you with a better idea of the specific types of power plant maintenance and how investing in a video borescope can make those maintenance procedures stress-free.

Power plants must operate under reduced operation and maintenance budgets while maintaining high reliability and availability. Early detection of equipment faults such as turbine blades, gearboxes, nozzles, and diaphragms degraded by erosion, corrosion, or foreign object damage can reduce costs and downtime while maximizing availability and operating efficiency. Portable, hand-held video borescopes can handle the rigors of just about any environment and are a useful and cost-effective information source for equipment fault detection and diagnosis. This diagnosis process, better known as preventative maintenance, can help you meet plant availability goals while reducing costs.

Preventative maintenance analyzes, detects and predicts likely maintenance requirements of equipment prior to the cost, inconvenience, and stress of an unplanned outage. As part of a preventative maintenance program, video borescopes can help you preserve and enhance equipment performance and reliability by preventing failure of equipment before it occurs. With features such as image and video capability, video borescopes like RF System Lab’s VJ-Advance document important internal details and assist in preventing potential damage.

Another type of maintenance benefited by the use of a borescope is predictive or condition-based maintenance. Predictive maintenance saves time and money by identifying and fixing problems before they occur, when conditions warrant. Borescopes allow you to detect signs of machine degradation before there is damage to rotating equipment and help you determine what corrective maintenance may be required before an equipment failure occurs. With video borescopes like the VJ-Advance, it’s easy to obtain a visual record of the condition of your critical internal components. Monitoring and recording conditions over an extended period allows maintenance professionals to quickly notice differences and identify corrosion or deterioration.

Corrective maintenance is best-defined as taking action to fix an issue that has occurred. Emergencies happen, no matter what measures you take to prevent them. The key is to be prepared, which is easy with a video borescope. When there is a noticeable deterioration in machine condition, remote visual inspection of turbines, compressors, gearboxes, generators, boiler lubes, lubrication, or fuel lines is an essential diagnostic tool in troubleshooting equipment faults. Including a borescope as part of troubleshooting and diagnostics strategy can help you meet plant availability goals and reduce downtime and outages.

Some power generation maintenance professionals may point out that much of their internal inspection related corrective maintenance is outsourced, so justifying the cost of a video borescope is not always easy. However, purchasing a high-quality video borescope to utilize during planned preventative maintenance, confidently ensuring that your plant is exceeding industry regulation and even day-to-day troubleshooting, is a smart long-term investment. Frankly, you want your components to last as long as possible and perform efficiently. A video borescope can make sure that they do that.

Having a video borescope onsite to perform preventative and predictive maintenance saves hours of tear down, troubleshooting, outages and can even help to avoid performing corrective maintenance, easily allowing you to see wear or damage to equipment and stay ahead of the game. Corrective maintenance may mean that your machines are down for days, or even weeks while special parts are ordered, or third parties come in when available. An investment in a borescope will help keep you ahead of the damage game and ahead of repairs, allowing you to preorder parts and drastically decrease downtime.

This is just a glimpse into the numerous ways video borescopes are a crucial addition to power plant maintenance plans and procedures. For a more detailed explanation on using video borescopes for your specific application, contact one of RF System Lab’s borescope experts at (888) 747-6526.

Video borescopes are used in a multitude of industries including oil and gas, aviation, power generation and manufacturing. One unique use for video borescopes, specifically the VJ-Advance articulating video borescope by RF System Lab, is inspecting mummies; better known as “paleoimaging” or “anthropological endoscopy.” Dr. Ron Beckett, along with colleague Jerry Conologue, coined the phrase and technique and has been pioneering it using flexible borescopes for over twenty years. RF System Lab is proud to announce that their VJ-Advance video borescope is being used by Dr. Beckett on current and upcoming paleoimaging research and wanted to provide a more detailed look into the subject.

“We’ve been using it since the 1990s. Work was done when flexible fiber scopes came out in the ‘70s, but it was a medical model. The ‘90s brought about the archeological uses – we actually have a few books on the subject, one specifically titled ‘Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts.’ There are several chapters on just the application of endoscopy on cultural anthropology and archaeology – artifacts and human remains,” stated Dr. Beckett.

Paleoimaging book cover

The cover of Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts

‘Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts’ is an excellent resource for anyone interested in gaining an in-depth look into how videoscopes are revolutionizing mummy-related field work. The following is a short excerpt from the book that provides an overview of the uses of endoscopy in mummy research: “Endoscopy can complement the radiograph, providing an image with shape, contour, color, and location of what was only a shadow on the x-ray. Additionally, the endoscope can be used to guide instruments for retrieval of tissues or artifacts from within a closed environment, such as a body cavity, coffin, or tomb. The instrumentation is portable and well suited for field imaging studies.” (Beckett, Ron in Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts)

One of the main reasons that Dr. Beckett currently utilizes the VJ-Advance video borescope is because of its battery-operated, lightweight portability, which is crucial when performing field work in a limited work space such as a tomb or crypt. He also values features such as the ability to document findings with hi-resolution photographs and video, which aids in image collection of archaeological and paleopathological data. When asked about the video borescope, Dr. Beckett remarked: “The instrument just never stops working – I’ve been using it over a long period of time and it doesn’t stop. It’s a real workhorse.”

In regards to the field of anthropological endoscopy, Dr. Beckett is noticing an influx of researchers utilizing video borescopes in their field work. Dr. Beckett is continually spreading awareness about his methods in hope that the trend continues. When asked how awareness is spreading, Dr. Beckett replied: “One way is workshops at major conferences – for instance, a global conference on mummy studies. Also, we have really, really appreciated more and more endoscopy coming through the literature. The more we can get out there, the more people will adopt it into their scientific work. It’s important to have a very versatile tool to conduct field work, which is a standard we’ve tried to establish. In their reporting, they say what kind of scope they use, what lens they use, and all the features that would allow me to replicate our research exactly. We are seeing more and more of that and are really happy about it.”

RF System Lab is thankful that Dr. Beckett has chosen to utilize the VJ-Advance video borescope for his current and future anthropological endoscopy efforts and is looking forward to what the future holds for video borescope usage in mummy studies. Whether you are completing field work for mummy studies or inspecting a turbine engine, you can learn more about RF System Lab and their no-cost, no-obligation demo program by calling a video borescope expert at (888) 747-6526 or by visiting the RF System Lab website.

If you are an IA or AP technician in the aviation industry, a good-performing, high-quality borescope is essential to your job. Whether your specialty is turbines, recips, airframes or avionics, you need a quality borescope in your toolkit that you can rely on.

Borescopes are used in all facets of the aviation industry, from helicopters to military fighter jets. There’s a reason for that: borescopes are able to inspect confined areas where you cannot easily see to ensure safe and reliable operation of aircraft parts including turbines, airframes, winglets, landing gear, and other confined space areas.

VJ-ADV Russia Aviation

An aviation maintenance technician using RF System Lab’s VJ-ADV on a turbine engine.

Turbine Inspections

One of the essential uses of articulating borescopes is for turbine engine inspection. Turbine engines have many internal rotating sections, as well as combustion chambers, that can be inspected with an articulating video borescope. Borescopes, which can enter directly through an injector nozzle or access port and require no engine disassembly, are able to internally inspect these blades for corrosion, wear, or imperfections such as cracks, which can occur if the compressor section gets too hot. Utilizing a borescope to inspect and maintain any engine helps to ensure that the aircraft is airworthy.

Helicopter-specific Turbine Inspections

Turbine engines in helicopters, or rotorcraft, are located near the main rotor blades, so in order to perform any maintenance on them, professionals usually have to climb scaffolding or a ladder; this is where the features of articulating borescopes, such as RF System Lab’s VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope, are extremely beneficial. The VJ-ADV’s compact, portable design and on demand power (the VJ-ADV video borescope simply requires AA batteries – no need to wait for it to charge or make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby), helicopter turbine inspections are completed with ease. In addition, the super-slim 2.8mm VJ-ADV video borescope is a great fit for Main Rotor Gearbox (MRGB) inspections. The thin diameter insertion tube easily allows technicians to check for cracks developed in the welding area between the shaft and bevel gear, ensuring that the MRGB is in working order, and no leaks will occur.

Additional Uses & Staying Safe

recip, VJ-ADV, video borescope, aviation

Finfrock Aviation inspects a recip style engine with the VJ-ADV

In addition to turbine inspections, borescopes have many other aviation-related uses.  As quoted by RF System Lab’s General Manager, Sean O’Connor: “Applications include inspecting airframes, flap tracks, wiring harnesses, and landing gear.” Additionally, borescopes are used in corrosion inspections.” In fact, a borescope can be used on just about any piece of aviation equipment. Borescopes range in size, for instance: the VJ-ADV comes in 2.8mm, 3.9mm and 6.9mm diameters, so finding a size to fit an access port is easily managed.

However, just because a borescope is able to inspect many different parts of an aircraft does not mean that some areas should not be approached with caution. “Special care should be taken when using a borescope to inspect fuel tanks, with proper grounding being very important,” notes O’Connor. “Aside from fuel tanks, as long as the scope is liquid proof and resistant to the common fluids found in various aircraft systems, a borescope can safely be used anywhere.”  Borescope technicians that are approved to sign off on annual inspections certifying airworthiness will have the proper Inspector Authorization (IA) Certification, but making sure to be properly educated on safety precautions when doing any inspection is extremely important.

100-hour Inspections

Another important reason borescopes are crucial to aircraft inspections: they allow maintenance professionals to complete 100-hour FAA inspections, necessary for the majority of aircrafts, with confidence.  100-hour inspections require photographic evidence of internal aircraft structures, which are easily captured by an articulating video borescope such as the VJ-ADV. Without a high-quality borescope to provide documentation, Maintenance professionals could put their license and reputation on the line.

Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) anywhere within an aircraft maintenance facility, or on a flight line, is not a problem with the VJ-Advance video borescope because it is battery powered, completely portable, and lightweight. For more information on the impressive VJ-Advance line of joystick-controlled, fully-articulating video borescopes, or to find out how you can demo the VJ-Advance video borescope for free at your own facility, visit the RF System Lab website or call (888) 747-6526 to speak to a borescope expert regarding your exact inspection needs.


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