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In January RF System Lab announced the arrival of the 2.8mm VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope.  Now, we would like to provide an update regarding the different industries that are utilizing the super slim 2.8mm VJ-ADV, as well as detail what makes this video borescope such a necessity in those industries.

video borescope insertion tube

The super-slim 2.8mm insertion tube.

The 2.8mm has all the same features as the original 6.9mm VJ-ADV, including four-way joystick-controlled camera articulation, medical grade camera technology, and trigger activated image capture.  However, as indicated by the name, the 2.8mm VJ-ADV offers a much slimmer insertion tube diameter, allowing inspection of much tighter spaces.

Our borescope experts gave the inside scoop on which industries are finding the 2.8mm to be the perfect fit.

The aerospace industry’s use of the 2.8mm VJ-ADV to complete casting inspections was an application noted in several instances.  Internal Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection is crucial, especially for integral parts such as the small cord oil passageways in the casting that surround the turbine engine. The 2.8mm video borescope is ideal for casting inspection because of its slender size and smaller bending radius, allowing it to easily navigate through tight corners and small tubing to detect corrosion or FOD.

The small casting passageways are extremely expensive to replace. Because of this, companies in the Aviation and Aerospace industry use borescopes like the 2.8mm VJ-ADV to perform preventive avionics maintenance to ensure that the welding is fully sealed and that there are no ruptures or leakage in the joints of the casting.  Conducting an inspection, prior to installing the casting, instills confidence that future inspections are passed and that the integrity of all parts that make up the casting is upheld.

Another notable industry in which to 2.8mm has been popular is 3D printing and other electronic inspections.  3D printers are becoming standard in many industries, and making sure the 3D printer you are using to create parts is in full working order, as well as inspecting the finished printed parts, is a must.  The 2.8mm seamlessly fits through small openings and guides effortlessly through compact inner workings of electronics and the products they create.  Uses of the VJ-ADV within the electronic industry have included solder paste inspections, circuit board inspections and different methods of preventative maintenance.

In addition to those industries, the 2.8mm VJ-ADV has been used for inspections that fall into the “Other” category. These “Other” inspections range from inspecting the inside of golf club heads to looking inside 300 year old violins.

The versatile 2.8mm articulating video borescope has become a top-seller in the industries above and in many others that require a sub-4mm borescope such as oil and gas, chemical processing and manufacturing.  But don’t just take our word for it.  Please contact us directly to try the 2.8mm VJ-ADV for yourself.  To make the decision process easy, we offer the industry’s only no-cost, no-obligation demo program so you can evaluate the new 2.8mm video borescope in your facility doing your inspections, before you decide to buy.  Contact RF System Lab today by visiting our website or call us toll free at (888) 747-6526, and see what you’ve been missing.

Last February, Borescope Expert Jess Kuznicki presented the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope at the Great Lakes Aviation Conference & Expo in Lansing, Michigan. While exhibiting, he had the opportunity to meet numerous aviation maintenance professionals. One encounter, however, stood out above the rest: students from MIAT College of Technology noticed RF System Lab’s booth and checked out the scope. Jess struck up a conversation with the students and realized that this was a golden opportunity to get our scope in the hands of students. After speaking with their supervisor, MIAT’s National Director of Business Relations Amy Kienast, about RF System Lab’s no-cost, no-obligation demo program, the demo agreement was signed and a 3.9mm VJ-ADV was sent to MIAT. The aviation maintenance students provided RF System Lab with great feedback about their experience using the VJ-ADV in their hanger at MIAT.

MIAT, turbine, RF System Lab

MIAT Instructors and students inspect the turbine.

MIAT College of Technology, located in Canton, Michigan, offers a variety of degree programs. The students that demoed the VJ-ADV video borescope were working towards their Aviation Maintenance Technology Associates Degree. Through this program, the students learn the advanced precision skills necessary to become FAA Certificated Airframe and Power Plant Technicians. A few of the precision technical skills MIAT graduates master during training include gear systems and operation, composite structure fabrication, avionics and advanced electrical systems, and high performance piston and turbine engines.

The high performance turbine engines were what the students were most excited to perform inspections on with the VJ-ADV. However, they were going to have to wait a few days. When the scope first arrived at the MIAT campus, Amy Kienast was on the verge of heading out of town for a week, so she told the students that she was going to lock the VJ-ADV in her office until she was back to supervise. The students, after begging her to reconsider and then realizing that was not getting them very far, offered a compromise.

“They were so eager to demo the scope that they settled for pouring over the instruction manual as a compromise. They wanted to know the VJ-ADV inside and out – the students studied that instruction manual from top to bottom before they eventually had the video borescope in their hands. They really wanted to know every aspect they could,” explained Kienast.

Students at MIAT use the VJ-ADV to inspect a turbine engine

Students at MIAT use the VJ-ADV to inspect a turbine engine

Once Kienast was back in the office, the students immediately got to work utilizing the VJ-ADV for performing inspections on the combustor of their Pratt & Whitney JT9 turbine engine; as well as an APU Honeywell for a 747. The borescope was used on the Pratt & Whitney JT9 to inspect the fuel nozzles in the combustor, the cooling passages, and the nozzle that guides the hot gas underneath the turbine blades. With the VJ-ADV, MIAT students were able to see where the nozzle had started stress rupturing from too much heat, causing some cracks to propagate from that area onto the combustion. When inspecting the APU Honeywell, students inserted the VJ-ADV directly into the combustor, which allowed them to easily observe the engine’s internal conditions.

Joe Zugschwert, the instructor leading the remote visual inspections, said that “compared to the older borescope we normally use, the definition and video display on the VJ-ADV is extremely impressive. Another major upgrade that the VJ-ADV offered is that there is much more maneuverability when you are able to hold the borescope with just one hand. That benefit left our other hand free to use the controls to select options for camera and video capture, as well as gave us the flexibility of use our free hand to easily guide the insertion tube into the entry points, an important feature to have.”

Zugschwert also mentioned that with video borescopes they’ve used the in the past, classified as “snap-on videoscopes,” the fiber optics are a lot larger, so it’s much harder to get into tighter spots. The VJ-ADV works well for getting into small spots, and the screen is large enough to clearly view the area being inspected.

Additional reactions provided by students Jason Carpenter, Aaron Foster, and Charles Birewirth were as follows:

- The quality and definition of the camera was exceptional in observing the fuel nozzles and turbine nozzles with their multiple cooling holes.”

- The clarity of the screen combined with the ease of thumb controlled brightness adjustments was extremely beneficial in finding a large stress crack in the cooling ring.

- Dust built up was discovered on the lens; however, the cleaning kit accompanying the borescope worked very well.

The student’s wrapped up their review of the VJ-ADV by stating: “Thank you for the use of this wonderful unit as it is a perfect tool for aviation inspections.”

RF System Lab is glad that they were able to provide the students of MIAT’s aviation program a chance to demo a high-end articulating video borescope. RF System Lab is a supporter of continued education and a believer in the importance of providing students with the same tools that they will be utilizing in their future careers such as the VJ-ADV video borescope. Enhancing hands-on experiences like the ones offered at MIAT’s aviation program is extremely important to the future of the aviation maintenance industry.

If you would like to learn more about RF System Lab’s no-cost, no-obligation demo program, visit the RF System Lab website or contact one of our sales consultants at 888-747-6526.

Many industry memberships are a great value for those who choose to join. RF System Lab is part of a number of memberships, which allow us to stay connected to the various industries we serve as well as stay up to date on news, and upcoming annual meetings or conferences offered to members.

Therefore, we’d like to feature memberships that we are a part of on the RF System Lab Inside Scope blog. Today’s featured membership is the National Business Aviation Association, better known as NBAA.

NBAA is the leading organization in Washington, DC advocating the business aviation community. The organization goes before congress, the courts, international forums, and government agencies to act as representation for policy change that effects business aviation. In addition, they have regional representation all over the country to articulate concerns regarding airport policies, safety and security proposals, taxation, and other issues.

In addition, they offer many opportunities to network with fellow aviation aficionados. NBAA’s Annual Meeting & Convention is the largest civil aviation tradeshow in the world. It is ranked in Tradeshow Week 200 magazine’s top ten for United States tradeshows. As if that isn’t already impressive enough, the tradeshow is a must-see; it annually brings together a large group of leaders and manufacturers in the aviation industry as well as government officials – over 1,000 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees to be exact.

Other networking opportunities include an industry news circuit called “Air-Mail,” regional forums that allow members to network with local peers and attend informative briefings, NBAA Standing Committees made up of volunteers who work to promote business aviation access, safety, professional development and security, and a member directory that is printed and distributed annually to NBAA’s over 8,000 members.

Other networking opportunities include:

  • An industry news circuit called “Air-Mail”
  • Regional forums that allow members to network with local peers and attend informative briefings
  • NBAA Standing Committees made up of volunteers who work to promote business aviation access, safety, and professional development and security
  • A printed member directory distributed annually to NBAA’s 8,000+ members

Another benefit worth mentioning is the NBAA’s Operations Service Group. The Operations Service Group is a help desk available during normal business hours that provides members with the latest information on rules and regulations, training and certification requirements, and any other resources needed for business aircraft operations.

RF System Lab is proud to be a member of NBAA. To read more about the membership benefits or to sign up for a membership yourself, you can visit the NBAA Membership benefits webpage.

For more information about RF System Lab, visit the RF System Lab website or call 888.747.6526.

The use of social platforms is imperative to a company’s brand awareness nowadays. Business to Business (B2B) marketing approaches, especially for industry specific companies, vary in the way that they utilize social sites, but those sites are still undeniably important to their online presence. One of the most important social networking sites that we at RF System Lab utilize is Twitter.

We have found twitter to be beneficial to our industry-specific B2B marketing efforts for a number of reasons.

Reason #1: #Hashtags (especially ones that are trade show related)
Hashtags are a simple, yet effective, way to connect with other Twitter users who are sharing tweets that are similar to yours. For example, if I was looking to connect with other users who were discussing Aviation, I could format my tweet as such:

Aviation Tweet from RF System Lab

When you click on “#aviation”, you will be linked with a plethora of other users who are chatting about aviation as well, allowing you to easily connect where necessary.

One of the best uses of hashtags for industry specific companies is unique trade show hashtags, which most shows and conferences now utilize. When you are onsite at tradeshows, or simply looking to connect with others attending, utilizing the hashtag specified by that show is a great way to do so.” For instance:

Aviation Tweet from RF System Lab

Now attendees following the show hashtag will be able to find your booth, as well as converse with you.

A final note on hashtags from socialmediatoday.com: “It is recommended that you only use hashtags for 1-3 words per tweet. I suggest only using it for 1-2 words, if at all possible. You don’t want to flood your tweets with hashed words that make your brand or company look like spam. You want your tweets to be simple and filled with content to direct the user back to your website or link that you are promoting.”

Reason #2: A majority of companies, especially airlines, have an active twitter account. What does that mean? That you are able to strike up a conversation (albeit an appropriate one) with influential industry professionals.

This also means that you can connect with past and potential customers through “favorites”, “retweets” and by simply replying to their tweets. One thing to note is to not over-do it or you may become noticed for the wrong reasons.

The rule of thumb that we follow is to stay engaged, reply, favorite and retweet when appropriate, and keep your eye out for “buying signals”…which brings me to reason #3.

Reason #3: Twitter can help you to find “buying signals” that may not be as obvious in other platforms. Buying signals are when someone has a need that your product can fulfill.

@GenericAirline tweets: “Anyone have a highly effective, yet reasonably priced solution to non-destructive testing?”

That would be a tweet where we at RF System Lab could reply with a link to our borescope demo offer, or a link to a blog post containing reasons why a borescope purchase is a “need to have.” Buying signals may not always be that obvious, but if you ease into the conversation with a solution that isn’t extremely aggressive (think: here are some tips instead of “here is my product, buy it.”), you’ll be on the right track to generating leads in no time.

Reason #4: Twitter is the perfect place to share industry news.

We share numerous pieces of industry news daily to show that we have an interest in the industries we serve and to make sure that we, and our followers, stay current on what is happening in the aviation, power gen, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries.

Reason #5: It’s a quick way to do a little self-promotion.

A good social media rule of thumb is “80/20” – 80% of your posts should be about others and 20% should be self-promotional. As long as you’re sticking to that rule, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to self-promote 20% of the time.

Here’s an example of how RF System Lab promotion:

Promoted Tweet from RF System Lab

There are many other reasons that Twitter is important to Industrial B2B companies, but those are definitely our top five. If you’d like to find out more information about RF System Lab, you can visit our website here. Want to follow us on twitter? Do so by visiting the RF System Lab twitter page here.

Joel Riling returned last week from the 2014 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit, sponsored by the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA). The summit brought together the entire Army Aviation industry for a chance to connect and discuss solutions for War-fighters at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN on May 4-6, 2014.

RF System Lab, borescopes, VJ-Advance video borescope, AAAA

Joel Riling’s wife presents the VJ-Advance video borescopes at the RF System Lab booth

Riling, RF System Lab’s VP of Government Programs and his wife attended the show, and both had a great time. Riling reports: “Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit was very well attended by hundreds of Active Duty Army personnel. I also had multiple technicians tell me that they currently use the VJ-Advance or have used it in the past – they all love it!”

Riling also mentioned that the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope received a great deal of interest from both military and commercial defense contractors of all types. Some of those contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky and Northrop Grumman, are among those who already own the VJ-ADV.

Overall, this was an excellent show and Riling is looking forward to attending in the future. If you were unable to test drive the VJ-Advance video borescope at the Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit, we would like to offer you a free trial. To make the decision process easy, we offer the industry’s only no-cost, no-obligation demo program so you can evaluate the VJ-Advance line of video borescopes in your facility doing your inspections, before you decide to buy.

For more information about RF System Lab and the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope call us at (231) 943-1171 or visit or website www.rfsystemlab.us.

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