Case Studies

American Airlines

VLM Saves $4 Million in component failure costs for American Airlines

American Airlines began experiencing premature failures of their APU Bearings and VLM technology was used to determine the cause and evaluate options for reducing the component failure. A Virtual Twin model was created which included multiple operating conditions, design and material processing variations, and lubricants. The simulations performed determined an operational change in combination with a lubricant change would eliminate the premature bearing failures. Since the FAA’s approval of the operating change combined with the new lubricant, American has had no failures and has documented savings of $3-4 Million per year.

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Capital Investment

More than $700,000 In Capital Investment Saved

All industrial equipment is designed to operate safely within a certain range of conditions, and in a perfect world, would be operated within its predetermined limits. But often, the designed-for conditions and actual operating conditions are worlds apart, with predictable results: premature failure, unanticipated downtime, unplanned maintenance, productivity losses, unexpected repair and replacement costs, and lost revenue. Such was the case with an industrial manufacturing company that was turning out products for the construction industry using a series heavy rollers operating at pressures above designated operating limits. VEXTEC was asked to determine the root causes of failure, and to identify and evaluate possible corrective actions.

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Life Prognosis

A New Approach

Gears are among mankind’s oldest mechanical devices, and they continue to play critical roles in a myriad of applications from the esoteric to the mundane. For decades, accepted industry methods for predicting gear health have been adequate. But that’s changing. Gear performance requirements are pushing the design envelope and now require more sophisticated modeling capabilities than what the standard AGMA methods can deliver. In this case study, helicopter gears are profiled, but the VEXTEC durability simulation approach will benefit all types of gears in a broad range of applications, from on & off highway vehicles to aircraft to wind turbine energy production, and more.

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Virtual Life Management

The Significant Impact

The cardiac implant device market alone is expected to grow to $27 B by 2017. Medical device firms routinely spend 8% – 10% of revenues in the development of new medical devices. This does not include costs of clinical trials and regulatory approval. There are few operating environments harsher than the human body. Medical implants have to endure violent, unpredictable stress and strain, and constant exposure to corrosive chemicals, all while facilitating life-dependent reliability, day after day. In addition, no two bodies are alike, and installation procedures vary with the surgeon performing them. To complicate matters even further, material, vendor and manufacturing variability all play interconnecting roles that affect device.

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