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Advanced digital torque tooling proves crucial to military and civilian turbine mechanics

24 April 2017

Aviation torque equipment specialist Hydratight is set to showcase how it resolved a critical challenge for its customers over the last year, during MRO Americas and the Army Aviation Mission Solution Summit this week (25 April – 28 April).

Hydratight’s Sweeney division has been making standard torque multipliers and accessories for its customers since the late 1940s. The firm produces equipment to cover torque output levels up to 83,000 ft-lb. Recently, there has been a need for more advanced tooling with highly accurate output readings. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) required a means of monitoring and collecting accurate, live torque data during turbine engine assembly and turned to Sweeney for the solution.

Over the last year, Sweeney’s digital readout torque multiplier series has been deployed to support mechanical needs on various commercial, fixed-wing aircraft models. The next development phase is for applications on aircraft used by the US military. These include the iconic Huey and Chinook rotor aircraft, the C-130 Hercules transport plane and the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.                                                    

Customers have benefitted from tooling which accurately monitors the entire torqueing process and records data for analysis and quality control. The Sweeney brand digital multiplier has a high resolution seven-inch Android tablet display, which shows the operator the exact torque and turn values numerically and in live graph formats. Target values can be set on the unit so it is clear when the final torque plus angle has been reached or exceeded. This has allowed technicians to virtually eliminate variables and work with greater efficiency.

Chris Corcoran, Aero and Industrial Product Manager for Sweeney, said: “We’ve been able to enhance torque accuracy for critical applications in turbine engines by using our digital series offered in 1,000 and 5,000 ft-lb models. However, our development has not stopped there, as market demands have also called for a 2,200 ft-lb model. This is currently in the testing phase and production is scheduled for a late 2017 launch.”

Darin Jerde, Aerospace and Industrial Business Leader, for Sweeney, said: “Our OEM customers required accurate tooling combined with visual displays to satisfy their client demands. We presented our digital torque multiplier series which has been used across the commercial market where technological advancements were required. We are pleased to showcase these results at our upcoming industry summits.”

About Hydratight:

Hydratight provides world-class bolted joint solutions and machining services, plus innovative mechanical weldless connectors, to power generation, oil and gas, nuclear, wind and aerospace industries. Over the last 20 years Hydratight has pioneered systems for complete joint integrity assurance that are now incorporated in industry-wide safe-working guidelines around the world.

Hydratight is wholly owned by Actuant Corporation, a diversified industrial company serving customers from operations in more than 30 countries and headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Actuant trades on the NYSE under the symbol ATU. For further information on Actuant and its businesses, visit the Company’s website at actuant.com.