Airtime Blog

Oil Analysis Technology Now Helping Helicopter Operators

By PRATT & WHITNEY CUSTOMER SERVICE
January 28, 2020 | Helicopters, Maintenance, Prognostics | 3 min read
Pratt & Whitney’s portfolio of digital engine services is growing: its industry-leading Oil Analysis Technology is now available to helicopter engine customers – specifically PT6C-67C for the Leonardo AW139 and PT6C-67E for the Airbus H175.

A SIMPLE, POWERFUL SOLUTION SUPPORTING HELICOPTER OPERATORS

Pratt & Whitney has made Oil Analysis Technology commercially available for the helicopter market for the first time. This powerful engine health monitoring and prognostic tool is part of the company’s expanding suite of services designed to support smarter, cost-effective, preventive maintenance.

The process for using it is simple. The operator collects an engine oil sample (typically every 200 to 300 flying hours), sends it for analysis by Pratt & Whitney’s experts and receives a detailed report explaining the engine’s health status over time and providing customized maintenance recommendations. (Read more here).

Customer response to the solution has been very positive.
Knowing the depth of analysis that is provided by the Oil Analysis Technology on our engine oil samples provides us with peace of mind and confidence that we will not be caught unaware and will be able to keep our aircraft in service and our customers happy.
Kiran Shrestha, Type Engineer, Engines, CHC Helicopters
Pratt & Whitney is including the solution in its Eagle Service™ Plan (ESP™) for operators of PT6C-67C and -67E engines. Customers may also purchase it separately through the MyP&WC Power portal. The company is working to roll out the technology to additional helicopter platforms in the future.

SENSITIVE ANALYSIS ENABLES PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE

Pratt & Whitney’s Oil Analysis Technology is up to a hundred times more sensitive than other engine oil monitoring solutions. It analyzes trace amounts of metallic debris from oil-wetted engine components such as bearings, gears and carbon seals to identify potential issues.

This powerful risk management tool provides customers greater peace of mind by helping to reduce unplanned events and increase engine availability.

“If the debris level exceeds the threshold for a healthy engine, or if we identify a specific deterioration signature, we will make proactive maintenance recommendations,” notes Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Digital Engine Services – Oil Analysis Technology.

When used in combination with the FAST™ digital engine health monitoring solution – currently available for the AW139 platform –it creates a highly comprehensive view of engine health, helping convert unplanned events into scheduled maintenance.
Oil Analysis Technology provides a key part of the engine health picture and when used in combination with our other digital engine services, it lets you know your engine inside out and plan your maintenance more effectively.
Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Digital Engine Services – Oil Analysis Technology
The solution also monitors the lubricating properties of the oil such as the total acid number and the water content to ensure that the oil is doing its job properly.

ENGINE OEM VALUE AND INSIGHT

As the engine OEM, Pratt & Whitney provides added value compared to traditional oil analysis. Not only are we constantly investing in research and development to expand our detection capabilities, we also correlate oil analysis data with hardware data collected during shop visits to optimize our thresholds and maintenance recommendations. The more data we get, the more powerful and accurate the technology becomes.
We don’t just look at the particle signatures in the oil. We know our customers and their mission profiles, and we know the engines because we designed them. That enables us to put the oil analysis data in a broader context and give customers tailored maintenance recommendations.
Frédérique Richard, Senior Manager, Digital Engine Services – Oil Analysis Technology
Through the commercial-readiness trials for Oil Analysis Technology, customers have provided more than 30,000 samples from over 8,000 engines, helping to calibrate the solution and make it available for 25-plus engine models and counting across all segments. Read more on the trial and the story behind the technology here.