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ECA GROUP and MK Test Systems: A partnership for low voltage testing in the aerospace industry

Wednesday, March 31 2021
The two companies have industrialised a harness testing system that will lead to faster aircraft assembly. The new solution will enter into service this year.

ECA GROUP and MK Test Systems have established a partnership to bring on the market a low voltage testing solution that will advance aircraft assembly considerably. The new test system will enter into service this year.

ECA GROUP with its AEROSPACE division, a builder of functional testers for aircraft assembly and maintenance, saw an excellent basis for a collaboration with MK Test Systems who build wire testing solutions for all types of industries (aerospace, defence, rail).

A low voltage testing solution that can make testing for operators safer and quicker is a real need in the aerospace industry. To this day, operators perform electrical wiring and harness tests in Final Assembly Lines under high voltage - a time consuming and hazardous job. To minimise the safety risk, manufacturers allow no other operations on the aircraft at the same time. This means that critical production time is lost as each of the many thousands of tests takes up to 5 seconds, and there are 170km of cables on a typical aircraft.

A faster testing solution, which enables manufacturing to continue at the same time, is therefore a definite requirement for aircraft builders. A traditional high voltage solution can make 20, the new low voltage system 500 measurements per second! 

The typical high voltage electronic test system, large footprint, masses of cables and time consuming to apply.

This is what electronic testing on the FAL looks like when you aren’t using low voltage. Large switching satellites and a lot of cable!

MK Test Systems are specialists in wire and harness electrical testing for all kinds of industries, and ECA GROUP, their Aerospace site a stone’s throw away from major aircraft manufacturers in Toulouse, has the aeronautical know-how in functional testing solutions to understand the needs of the aerospace sector. Their compatibility allowed them to industrialise MK Test Systems’s solution together.

In less than two years, the two companies managed to industrialise a proof of concept that could answer in time to the aerospace industry’s specific requirements and needs.

Aircraft Final Assembly Lines can now benefit from faster, real time, electrical wiring testing.   And for the future, the new partners are planning to collaborate on a complete testing solution incorporating wire and function testing in one global project.

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