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TAT Talks, Episode 3: Five up-to-date technologies that increase the longevity of your parts


TAT Talks, Episode 3: Five up-to-date technologies that increase the longevity of your parts

Up to date technologies bring forth benefits not just for the aviation maintenance provider, but also for you, the end customer. These include a faster turnaround time and an increased life span of parts, which in turn leads to noticeable cost savings.

What is more, the newest available technology enables repairs and maintenance procedures at a precision rate that surpasses any previous processes.

In this video, John Koontz, the technology expert at TAT Piedmont discusses three ways in which we ride the technology wave.

No-Mask Plating Fixture


In 2014, TAT Piedmont was researching for more information on a part that we had been continuously repairing for a military customer. We wanted a solution that would help us make the plating process more efficient.

Our MPG Manager, John Koontz, came across CAI Resources Inc., an engineering services company that specializes in metal finishing. They had developed a no-mask plating fixture that could plate two of these parts at the same time.

John soon contacted George Cushnie, who worked with CAI Resources and has a vast range of knowledge and experience within the metal finishing field. George explained more about how their no-mask plating system worked and how it would reduce plating and grinding times. He offered to visit Piedmont to demonstrate how the fixture worked.

The TAT Piedmont team were highly impressed by the results of using this fixture and has implemented its usage ever since. As a result, it has reduced plating time by an average of 75% and reduced grinding time by 20%.


New technology for processes: HVOF, Flame Spray, Electroless Nickel, FARO arm

High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF)


High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) is a thermal spray coating process that helps extend the life of a part by applying a strong, dense layer of coating. This assists in increasing protection of the underlying metal surface from corrosion and overall wear resistance that can occur between maintenance visits.

Because HVOF coated parts have that strong, dense layer of coating, it also allows the parts to operate in extreme conditions, such as in high/low temperatures and abrasion.

HVOF benefits:

  • HVOF has shown proven benefits by reducing costs, increasing the overall life of the part, and efficient and ease of application processing.
  • In terms of lead time, Chrome plating requires processing that can take up to a couple of days where HVOF application can take a few hours.

For these reasons, HVOF is expected to replace the usage of hard Chrome (which is another widely used application that helps protect the part from corrosion wear, and fatigue).

“Currently, Piedmont offers both [services], hard Chrome plating and HVOF,” highlights John Koontz in the video above. “Although our Chrome Plating system is state-of-the-art, the HVOF is much less environmentally impactful.”

Flame Spray

Flame spray is a thermal coating method that is designed to rework engine components by restoring degraded surfaces that require long lasting corrosion resistance and overall strength and hardness of a part.

How it works:

This thermal spray creates a flame by combining oxygen and fuel gases. A thermal spray material is then applied onto the part and the flame created melts the coating of the material into the surface of the part.

Benefits of the Flame Spray:

The application of this process can result in longevity of the component, help reduce overall maintenance costs, and reduce scrap rate of repairable units.

Electroless Nickel

Within recent years, Electroless Nickel has become a popular alternative to traditional, electrolytic nickel plating.

“We currently provide sulfamate Nickel plating and we are going to incorporate Electroless Nickel at some point in the future,” says John.

Benefits of Electroless Nickel:

  • Due to the difference in the method between electroless plating and electrolytic plating processes, the electroless plating process results in a more evenly, plated surface that is uniform throughout the surface of the part which can help decrease the buildup of corrosion.
  • Corrosion can begin to form in areas that have the slightest imperfections. If a part is plated evenly, it will take longer for corrosion to begin to build up, resulting in cost savings during maintenance.

FARO arm

Piedmont currently uses a FARO Arm, which is a portable Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). This device allows quick and easy measurements accurate of .0008″.


“The FARO arm helps Piedmont in every way. The shop can move the parts around; we can move the FARO arm to the parts. It provides quicker, lower turn time and it is very accurate,” says John.

Some parts cannot be measured using traditional measurement technology (such as mics and calibers), therefore being able to use this type of CMM is a huge benefit. Even if the part can be measured using a traditional tool, this can be a lengthy process that is highly subject to operator error.


FARO arm benefits:

The FARO Arm can reduce measurement time and improve measurement accuracy. The FARO Arm can help create a very controlled measurement program that allows us to measure parts that we previously couldn’t.

At the same time, it helps achieve results in a more accurate and repeatable manner.

The usage of this CMM helps reduce the cost of the repair or overhaul of your unit by being able to establish whether the unit is serviceable in house. Though the usage of traditional measurement technology is still widely practiced, sometimes there is not an accurate way of doing this without using the FARO Arm.

Reduction of environmental impact

Contributing to the reduction of our impact on the environment should be one of the top priorities of any company. It is also one of our priorities here at TAT Piedmont.

We are thus taking advantage of the latest available technology in order to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce hazardous waste production and generally reduce waste each year.

Zinc Nickel Plating to replace Cadmium Plating

The newer technology in the plating shop that Boeing has implemented already is the Zinc Nickel Plating. That will replace the Cadmium Plating. It is more environmentally safe and that is what we want to do for our customers.

Working with TAT Piedmont, you are working with a company that cares for the environment and is contributing to a greener world.

Keep the conversation going

At TAT Piedmont, we believe in using up-to-date, modern technology to help achieve maximum results during each parts shop visit. When every thousandth of an inch matters in the aviation industry, we have the tools to measure at the highest accuracy possible.

What are the latest technologies available that you adopted in your company? How are they helping you become better in your industry? Message Donnie Loflin, our Senior Director of Account Management, for a quick response.

Now that you know how these processes help you directly, next time you meet with your vendor ask them about these technologies and whether they provide them.

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