What do these items have in common?

A cleaning rag
An adhesive tube cap
Small pieces of nylon strip
A disposable glove

Answer:

They are all Foreign Objects (FO) found on an aircraft —-after they were used to install MS21266 nylon grommet edging which has to be glued into place on the metal edge. All 4 items are part of that long slow costly process.

courtesy army.mil

Any one of these items could have resulted in Foreign Object Damage (FOD) which could create problems that run from risky to catastrophic.   Think a jammed flight control, a “frozen” trim cable, or immobile key flight controls (like the yoke).

Rags, caps, plastic strips and gloves -all innocuous items on the ground can become deadly in the air. In the same way that a $0.79 ball point pen can jam a flight control; metallic drill chips can cause a short or rags can create jams and or metallic shavings.

The legacy install process for MS21266 is slow with multiple steps, messy as glue is involved and costly as time is literally money.  From  FOD point of view many more items need to be carried onto the plane to complete the work.

DTi has a far better alternative -Spring-Fast®- which provides best in class performance at half the price!  Half the price because the grommet edging can be applied fast and simply in seconds without any prep, glue, and fixturing.

Why Keep this Inherently Old, Slow, Costly and Risky Process in Place?

Foreign objects (FO) and the related Foreign Object Debris (FOD)  is a serious problem recognized by OEMs, MROs and operator/owners.

The foreign objects above were found before any inflight issue/incident took place, but the danger and risk is there.

The aerospace industry knows only too well that the more you carry onto a plane, the more likely you are to leave something behind.   The install process for nylon grommets creates greater in flight/safety risks as many more components are involved in the installation.(see below)

So why not make this obvious and simple change?

The problem is inertia.  We all know the aerospace industry works slowly -it works on a  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality – yet here is evidence of serious risk that could be mitigated by changing 1 component.

Replace all the glued in nylon grommets (MS21266) with Spring-Fast grommet edging M22529/2.
All the heavy standards lifting has been done as Spring-Fast is fully qualified as an FAA-approved replacement part and already has NAVAIR approval.

Because M22529/2 is a very simple install:  measure, cut, and snap in place, it has far fewer items (2) are required for installation on the plane.

In comparison techs have to bring 10 items on board for a nylon grommet, so simple math tells you OEM/MRO’s are at least 5 times more likely to leave FO on an airplane.

Compare What’s Brought On to  Plane to Install Grommets

For M22529/2:   2 items
– A trimming tool
– IPA wipe for cleaning edge surfaces

For MS21266: 10 items
– Squeeze bottle of MEK/ACETONE/IPA
– Cheese cloth
– Scotch-Brite
– Pliobond or acrylic adhesive
– Masking tape
– Disposable gloves (2)
– Cutting tool
– Rag/Cloth for clean up (1)
– Fan for ventilation

Conclusion

We believe it makes sense to move to a grommet edging system that reduces risks.
Beyond risk reduction, the benefits are impressive as well :

–  The installation cost is at least 49% lower than using the old glued-in grommet
–  It can represent a 9.5x efficiency increase for that particular task
–  It provides best-in-class performance

See Spring-Fast options here.