Maintaining government vehicles, especially aircraft, is an enormous challenge. Countless items must constantly be inspected and repaired, parts must be ordered and service records must be scrupulously filed. In the case of the military aircraft, maintenance crews are assigned to specific aircraft and must transfer on a moment's notice wherever the aircraft are deployed, taking their e-tools with them. That means computers must be lightweight, resilient, mobile, wireless and ready for action under any conditions. That is why the federal government trusts MIL-810-STD-certified Panasonic Toughbook® mobile computers to perform maintenance tasks — and a whole lot more.
FLIGHT LINE MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONMaintaining military aircraft is a complex process requiring avionics data to be downloaded from the aircraft for analysis by the pilot and crew in order to detect potential failures. When problems are identified, technicians conduct inspections - inside the engine compartment when necessary. There are a number of drawbacks to earlier model e-tools. They have to be physically connected to the planes before data can be downloaded and analyzed. Certain older aircraft commonly leak fluids, which can damage non-rugged e-tools. The older e-tools also require technicians to manually order replacement parts from catalogs when needed. The outmoded e-tools make the entire process slow and inefficient.
Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers with wireless capabilities and custom software streamline the whole process. Now, avionics data is downloaded and shared wirelessly between the aircraft, maintenance crew and the air traffic control center before the aircraft reaches the hangar. This eliminates the need to physically connect to systems on the ground, allowing diagnostics to begin sooner. The Toughbook mobile computing solution, with daylight-readable touch screens, also enables maintenance technicians to wirelessly order parts online from anywhere. Because Toughbook computers have spill resistant keyboards, they are less likely to be damaged by leaks, grease and particulates commonly found in maintenance bays. The reliability and low cost of ownership have made Toughbook mobile computers the standard e-tool for U.S. Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command and NAVAIR [U.S. Navy] flight line maintenance.
NAVAIR AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE SOLUTION FOR H-60, V-22, F-18, C-130, MARINE 1 [PRESIDENTIAL HELO] AND H-71U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) provides flight line maintenance for naval aircraft deployed anywhere in the world from deserts to swamps to freezing mountain regions. NAVAIR maintenance crews and equipment, including Portable Electronic Diagnostic Devices (PEDDs), are deployed with the aircraft. PEDDs are relied on to access parts catalogs, checklists, and tech manuals while on the move, in, around and on top of the aircraft—in any kind of weather. Some PEDDs provided by Panasonic competitors often break, dropping small parts within the aircraft, creating potential safety hazards and causing enormous delays as crews spend time locating and removing the foreign objects. The Navy requires a solid, reliable PEDD that can function in any weather without disintegrating.
The Toughbook mobile computers' rugged construction and design makes them well-suited to function as PEDDs that the Navy can rely on. Unlike most computers, which are outsourced to third-party manufacturers, Toughbook mobile computers are manufactured by Panasonic, using machinery and robotics specifically built to assemble Toughbook computers. Most of the components that go into Toughbook computers are also built by Panasonic, ensuring the highest level of quality control — from the transistors to the battery to the outer magnesium alloy cases. Further, the rugged engineering and MIL-STD-810 certification satisfies all the rigorous environmental requirements, including high vibration, moisture, and extreme temperature ranges.
Toughbook computers provide more than just durability. They add value with mobile-specific features such as built-in handles and daylight-readable touch screens that make it easy for users to remotely access information and technical manuals while in and around aircraft. In addition, Toughbook Services provide the Navy and Marine Corps with logistical and deployment support, integrating the units with the necessary RAM, hard drives and asset tags for easy tracking.
NAVAIR AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONNaval aircraft maintenance requires continuous monitoring of an aircraft's avionics data in order to determine the health of a particular fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter. By connecting an e-tool with the craft's computer, technicians can work with pilots to detect problems or anticipate potential failures. When technical issues are identified, technicians and mechanics can climb inside the aircraft to conduct visual inspections. Earlier e-tools had serious inadequacies. They were not rugged enough for the maintenance environment, and did not enable technicians to order replacement parts while mobile. Instead, technicians had to manually order from catalogs after the inspection, degrading the maintenance process.
Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers with wireless capabilities and specialized software streamline the process. Avionics and diagnostics data is downloaded through a wired connection, while replacement parts are ordered wirelessly using daylight-readable touch screens, as the technicians inspect the craft. Toughbook computers have spill resistant keyboards that are less likely to be damaged by leaks and particulates commonly found in aircraft maintenance bays. They are also MIL-STD-810 certified for protection against vibration, dust, drops and liquids. As a result of its capabilities and ruggedness, reliable Toughbook mobile computers, integrated with partners such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, have become the standard e-tool for NAVAIR flight line maintenance.
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