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Tester Helps Airbase Services Keep Airlines Flying

Imagine another flight delay because the in-flight coffee maker or cabin intercom doesn't work? It's happened. With seat-back video, on-demand movies, more audio channels and pending in-flight WiFi access, passenger cabin electronics are rapidly becoming more complex than cockpit systems. Add in the already vital flight systems and communications systems needed to deliver passengers and crews safely to their destinations.

It all adds up to an incredibly complex batch of electronics, and airlines and their suppliers face intense pressure to keep their electronics running with virtually no margin for error.

Reducing Test Time
That's why Airbase Services, a Division of Regent Aerospace — the world's largest independent aircraft interior reconfiguration, restoration, refurbishing and refreshing company — purchased a PinPoint II test system from DiagnoSYS Systems. The new test system reduces the time needed to repair or refurbish faulty or outdated electronics on circuit boards controlling on-board communications, in-flight entertainment, galley and avionic systems.

"The PinPoint II brings a level of technology that continues to push our business forward and provides tremendous opportunity in aircraft interior electronics," said Ian Charters, Director, Sales and Marketing, Airbase Services. "It opens up a number of new areas of service that we can offer to our customers that improves our ability to add value, while lowering cost."

The PinPoint II Functional Tester is a complete testing solution that allows users to perform in-circuit functional tests of analog and digital components, VI analysis boundary scans, PXI tests and schematic reverse engineering in a single unit.

Before implementing the PinPoint II tester, technicians in Airbase Services' 130,000-square foot facility swapped good boards for faulty units as a diagnostic tool until they identified the cause of the failure. Since a number of these boards are no longer in production repair/replacement options were becoming a major challenge for turn-time and customer service. Technicians now connect the suspect board to the PinPoint II, run the appropriate Test Program Set (TPS) and get the results within minutes — allowing new repair methods that were previously not available.

Intuitive Software
Test programs can be completed quickly and accurately with TestVue32, an intuitive, Windows-based software that provides clear menus and interactive graphics to guide users through each stage of test strategy, automatically generating on-screen prompts to get the job done right without delay. The PinPoint II comes complete with a library of over 15,000 devices, including many military components and provides the ability for users to add new devices to the library. This comprehensive database is constantly updated resulting in reduced board program development time.

Initially, technicians used the PinPoint II in an R&D phase to assess the testers' capabilities and to qualify PC boards that would be diagnosed by the system. Using the system this way also provided Airbase Services' technical staff the opportunity to learn how to program the PinPoint II and categorize the failure modes in the replacement inventory stream.

The PinPoint II can interface to the unit-under-test with clips, edge connector or a bed-of-nails fixture based on the specific test needs. Once connected, the system can test digital, analog and hybrid boards and devices.

Many Savings Unveiled
Testing and repairing a control board for the in-flight coffee makers opened Air Services' eyes to possible savings. That operation yielded significant cost savings compared to sending failed boards out for repairs. The company realized a further gain when a good board was rotated back into active inventory in hours instead of weeks.

Energized by its success with the coffee-maker control board, Airbase Services is using the PinPoint II to find faults in onboard telecom systems, for which it is the OEM provider. Even though the system is no longer manufactured, it continues to be a staple as an in-flight customer service and aircraft to ground communication that will need continued support for the foreseeable future.

Regent Aerospace Corporation, headquartered in Valencia, California, is reportedly the largest independent aircraft interior reconfiguration, restoration, and refurbishing company in the world. Capabilities include sale, refurbishment, overhaul, and exchange of passenger, crew and flight attendant seats, restraints, galleys, dividers, lavatories, trolleys, coffee makers, warmers, ovens, chillers, avionics, IFE, (D.P.C.U.s, players, video monitors, telephony, in-seat controllers, S.E.B.s), life support/survival equipment (vests, rafts, slides and oxygen), cargo containers, cargo straps, pallets and ULDs — Unit Load Devices, pallets and containers used to load luggage, freight, and mail.

Component manufacturing is performed at the interior refurbishment facility located in Valencia, California. Other facilities include Dallas, Texas, Indianapolis, Indiana, Beijing, China and Busan, South Korea with line maintenance servicing offered at LAX, DFW, ORD, EWR, JFK, SJU, and MIA with new locations opening soon in Europe and Asia.

DiagnoSYS Systems, Inc. provides a comprehensive range of electronic diagnostic test solutions and dedicated technical services. Solutions are implemented in some of the most demanding, mission-critical industries such as military, aerospace/avionics, mass transit, banking and general commercial environments.

Contact: DiagnoSYS Systems, Inc.,808 North Hoagland Blvd., Kissimmee FL 34741 800-788-6219 fax: 407-846-6416 E-mail: Web:

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