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  • CalCo’s PT6A Engine Model Featured In Vector!

    Posted on January 11th, 2016 admin No comments
    vector 2016.1-2.1

    Click the image for the full article.

    Turbine Gas Path Washing

    When it comes to engine health, cleanliness is next to airworthiness. To prevent turbine engine corrosion and sulphidation, you should follow the manufacturer’s washing recommendations.

    Every turbine engine has a maintenance manual that contains rinse or wash requirements to prevent sulphidation. These requirements must be followed, unless an operator has an alternate means of compliance stated in their approved maintenance programme.

    Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) publish recommended time periods between gas path washes based on geographical region. The entire New Zealand region is listed as a “salt-laden environment”.

    “To prevent damage, operators need to review the manufacturer’s requirements and make sure their wash programme conforms,” says CAA Air Transport Inspector (Airworthiness), Steve Shaw.

    “Most manufacturers recommend the compressor (gas path) to be rinsed or washed after the last flight of the day to remove salt deposits when operating in a corrosive environment.

    Vector is using the P&WC PT6A engine as an example here, because it is the most common small turbine engine in New Zealand fixed-wing aircraft, being used in everything from skydiving to air ambulance operations – CAA records show there are approximately 120 PT6A engines of various models in use in New Zealand.

    However, the advice contained in this article can equally be applied to other turbine engine models, in both fixed-wing and rotary operations. As you’d expect, the manufacturer’s instructions will differ from engine to engine, so it’s important that you fully understand the maintenance requirements. For example, the Rolls-Royce M250 maintenance instructions specify both rinse and wash regimes.

    New Zealand’s Pratt & Whitney representative, Stephan Heep, says some operators talk about ‘compressor washing’, but fail to realise that the compressor wash, and compressor turbine wash, are separate processes.

    “Typically, you have two washing schedules. The external wash to remove corrosive elements from the engine’s external surfaces, and the other in a broader sense, is the full gas path wash.

    “I like to be a little bit cautious and use the terminology ‘gas path wash’, because then we know we’re talking about washing the entire gas path, from inlet case through to the power turbine. Some operators get stuck on the fact they are doing a compressor wash, and neglect to wash the compressor turbine.

    Washing Advice

    Warren Had eld, another CAA Air Transport Inspector (Airworthiness), is concerned about what a poor washing technique and/or routine can result in. “There have been a number of engines damaged due to a lack of washing, or because the wash has been done incorrectly.

    “Compressor washes should be done after the last flight of the day, followed by drying runs in accordance with the maintenance manual.

    “There is a concern that some of those that are washing, are only washing the compressor part of the engine (the easy part), without washing the compressor turbine.

    “All that does is move the salt into the interior part of the engine.

    “We really want to stress the importance of following the manufacturer’s recommendations, particularly regarding the compressor turbine and vane ring.”

    P&WC’s Stephan Heep says the average PT6A engine ingests more than 8,000 cubic feet of air in one minute. “In flying through a salt-laden environment, you get a build-up of salt deposits on the compressor rotating components, and corrosive elements, throughout the gas path.”

    “If you just rinse water on the compressor side, all you’re doing is washing those salt deposits off the compressor and onto the compressor hot section – exactly where you don’t want them!

    “How often you wash the engine is something you’re going to need to evaluate, based on the frequency recommendations in the maintenance manual, knowledge of your routes, and close monitoring of engine condition,” says Stephan.

    Blenheim-based Craig Anderson, Chief Pilot of Sounds Air, says the airline operates engines on an extended time before overhaul (TBO). They’ve run several engines right out to their limits, but haven’t had any issues with corrosion.

    Craig previously held the role of Chief Engineer at Sounds Aero Maintenance.

    “Our PC-12s (Pilatus) are operating up in the higher altitudes, a lot of the time to Taupo. Even though that region is still classed as a highly corrosive area, it’s completely different to the coastal environment at lower altitudes, where we operate the Caravans (Cessna). However, we still choose to wash the PC-12s on the same schedule as the Caravans.

    “Our engines are washed daily, and our pilots are put through a maintenance training procedure as part of their initial type rating. The pilots certify their own maintenance, under company authorisation.

    “When an engine comes in for a borescope inspection, we can see if it’s been washed regularly.”

    The borescope is an optical tool, used for remote visual inspection. It consists of a tube, usually long and often flexible, a lens on one end and an eyepiece on the other.

    A borescope inspection is required every 400 hours. However, Sounds Aero’s C208 maintenance programme requires inspection every 300 hours – a prudent move given their operating environment.

    “You can see the salt deposits building up on the compressor blades, even in the very early stages,” says Craig.

    Water Usage

    P&WC’s Stephan Heep says the amount of water in the wash is also critical.

    “Once again, when problems occur, it’s normally a case of the operator not thoroughly reading the maintenance manual.

    “I’ve seen examples of both ends of the stick, where they’ve used too much, or not enough, water. If you’re on the ‘too little’ end, you may as well forget it; the wash isn’t going to help.

    “One customer I was working with had significant corrosion on their engine, and he swore up and down they were washing regularly.

    “It turned out that he was using a five-litre garden sprayer bottle that probably put two litres of water through his engine in the 30-second motoring cycle. If you look in the maintenance manual, you need a ow rate of 7.6 to 11.3 litres per minute to effectively rinse the corrosion, including elements, from the gas path surfaces.

    “Conversely, we’ve had operators who overdo it, and end up with contamination in the fuel control unit (FCU) because they’ve put copious amounts of water through without adequately isolating the P3 unit air to the FCU. That’s why it’s so important for the customer to review the maintenance manual, ascertain their wash rate, determine how to produce that amount of water, check the recommended amount of water is actually going through the engine, and most importantly, isolate the P3 line to the FCU,” says Stephan.


    Stephan Heep continues, “In the drying run, your aim is to get rid of any moisture sitting in joins and cavities to avoid corrosion.

    “We see some operators following the washing process very well, but never doing the drying run, or taking a long time between the wash and drying run.

    Craig Anderson from Sounds Air describes such an experience

    “I did some work with a Caravan operator in Dubai who had a lot of corrosion issues. It turns out they were washing the plane at night and then giving it a drying run in the morning. You don’t want that salty water, that’s mixed with sand, sitting in the engine overnight.”

    The Devil’s in the Detail

    “It’s just as important to record what you’re doing, as actually doing it. They go hand in hand,” says Craig.

    “Sounds Aero has an approved maintenance form for release- to-service that pilots can use to record their washing activities.

    “At one stage, our pilots were doing the washes, but weren’t recording them. If we have any issues downtrack, we need the ability to go back and identify why we’re seeing what we’re seeing.

    “We used to record the wash on the flight or maintenance log, but that’s very time-consuming and tedious for a job that’s required daily.

    “We’ve got an approved form now (the wash is a maintenance requirement so it needs to be released to service), so all the pilot has to do is write the registration, record their name and approval number, then sign it. That makes the paperwork very quick and easy.”

  • CalCo at Groundwater Expo in Las Vegas

    Posted on December 21st, 2015 admin No comments

    The NGWA Groundwater Expo is the largest groundwater industry event of the year. The expo was held in Las Vegas and had more than 5,000 attendees. The show keeps current on today’s groundwater issues, while exploring future possibilities in the industry for success with old friends and new partners. Some of the show’s sponsors included AppliTek, AY McDonald, Baker Water Systems, Baroid, CRI Pumps and more.

    groundwater    groundwater2

    It was great to connect with CalCo’s current customers and form new partnerships in the one event that brings together professionals from all sectors of the groundwater industry. And being a member of the National Ground Water Association made the event even more special for us!

    No matter what industry you’re in, CalCo takes pride in making your product display at a trade show as striking as possible to attract the right customers to your booth. Is your next trade show around the corner? Contact us for help with your trade show cutaway needs by calling us at 847.639.3858.


  • CalCo at POWER-GEN International in Las Vegas

    Posted on December 11th, 2015 admin No comments

    Power Gen

    The POWER-GEN International Show has 1,400 exhibitors and 22,000 attendees from over 90 countries making it the largest power generation trade show event in the world. The show focuses on the industry’s latest innovations, technical trends and business strategies. POWER-GEN International includes a broad range of qualified power professionals with the power to purchase. Throughout the years, POWER-GEN International has covered it all, providing a world stage for the innovations, ideas and solutions that have formed the industry. Some of the show’s sponsors included Doosan, True Blue Energy & Industrial and AKSA Power Generation.

    Power Gen 2

    It was great seeing CalCo’s present and prospective clients display their latest solutions and technology in power generation. No matter what industry you’re in, our goal at CalCo is to make the job of displaying your product at a trade show as easy and eye-catching as possible.

    Contact us for help with your trade show needs by calling us at 847.639.3858.

  • CalCo at the IWBS Show in New Orleans

    Posted on December 7th, 2015 admin No comments

    The International WorkBoat Show (IWBS) is North America’s largest commercial marine trade show and conference held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The show brings thousands of maritime industry buyers and suppliers with the latest products and technologies in the commercial marine industry. With over 14,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors attending the show, IWBS is the top market for any business servicing the coastal, inland and offshore waters. Some of the show’s sponsors included Nautican, FuelTrax Marine Fuel Management, TIMCO, Travelers, SteyrMotors and more.


    Rusty Costanza / The Times-Picayune

    It was great seeing CalCo’s current and prospective clients display their latest solutions and technology in the commercial marine industry. No matter what industry you’re in, our goal at CalCo is to create a unique model that grabs the attention of your customers. We provide tailored solutions depending on individual needs so your product can shine at every trade show you attend.

    Are you ready for your next trade show? Contact us for help with your trade show needs by calling us at 847.639.3858.

  • CalCo at the Chem Show in New York

    Posted on November 20th, 2015 admin No comments

    Chem Show 2

    The Chem Show is held every two years at the Javits Convention Center in New York, and it showcases the latest process equipment, products and services from manufacturers and innovative suppliers throughout the Chemical Process Industries (CPI). The 2015 Chem Show was especially significant as it marked the show’s 100th anniversary!

    Chem Show

    Manufacturers, suppliers and other professionals who are involved in processing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foods and other products that require mixing, blending and separating attended the show. Some of the participating associations included AIChE, SOCMA, ISA, Hydraulic Institute and more. It was great to see CalCo’s current and future clients display their latest solutions and technology in process applications.

    CalCo provides customized solutions and can create unique models that grab the attention of your audience. Our goal is to display your product in its best light and make your product’s transporting process from one location to another as easy as possible.

    When is your next show? Contact us for help with your trade show needs by calling us at 847.639.3858.

  • What are oil filter cutaways?

    Posted on November 5th, 2015 admin No comments

    Oil filters are used in all sorts of products including motor vehicles, hydraulic machinery and jet aircrafts, and they’re designed to remove debris from engine oil, transmission oil and more. Because machines produce a lot of internal debris, an oil filter cleans the oil and removes as much waste as possible so machines can run smoothly.

    There are a lot of internal elements to an oil filter and the best way to see its different features is with an oil filter cutaway since it will show a filter’s exterior shell but also reveal how the guts are stacked inside.

    Some of the most important components an oil filter cutaway are:


    The filters consist of tiny fibers made from cellulose or synthetic materials to increase the efficiency of oil cleaning while keep an oil filter stiff and durable.


    The antidrainback valve blocks oil from draining back into the filter when a machine’s engine is off. This prevents oil pressure buildup once the engine is turned back on again.

    The relief valve allows unfiltered oil to pass through if the pressure builds up because the oil is too thick. This prevents damage to the engine from oil starvation.

    Tapping Plate

    The tapping plate is the entry and exit point for oil to flow in and out of an oil filter and into a container that is attached to the engine. There are small holes around the plate’s edge to allow free flow of oil into the container.

    Center Tube

    The center tube ensures unrestricted oil flow through various holes sizes and numbers, and it lets filtered oil go back to the engine.

    Oil filters have several components and they can vary a bit depending on what kind of machinery they’re used in, but the four elements listed above are generally the most important ones to see in an oil filter cutaway.

    For more information about oil filter cutaways, call us at 847.639.3858, email us at or fill out our form here.

  • CalCo at GIE+Expo in Louisville

    Posted on October 29th, 2015 admin No comments


    The Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) is an international tradeshow held annually in Louisville. As one of the 20 largest expositions in North America bringing in more than 20,000 attendees to the Kentucky Exposition Center, GIE+EXPO was nothing less than exciting for CalCo between its 19 acre outdoor demonstration area and indoor exhibits covering a combined total of over 700,000 net square feet!

    With buyers, designers, distributors, contractors, equipment dealers, international importers, engineers and more participants from all over the world attending the show, it was great to see CalCo’s current and future clients display cutaways of their innovative products and technology.

    GIE+EXPO 2

    No matter what industry you’re in or what kind of cutaway you’re looking to create, our goal at CalCo is to make the job of displaying your product at a trade show eye-catching and easily transportable. We provide customized solutions for your product to showcase it in its best light.

    Is your display ready for the next trade show? Contact us for help with your trade show cutaway needs by calling us at 847.639.3858.

  • How cutaways help in training employees

    Posted on October 5th, 2015 admin No comments

    Did you know cutaways are first-rate training tools that educate and empower your team?

    Although modern technology and digital software help employees-in-training envision the internals of manufactured products, cutaways surpass digital tools because they are tangible and provide firsthand instruction.

    Cutaways are real physical models that are great for employee training because they provide hands-on experience and help visualize how a product’s internal components will look and fit together. Cutaways are especially useful to engineers and repair specialists since they show how the actual product parts will function. Cutaways promote tactile learning as employees are educated and proficient on the unique mechanisms and factors through physical models. The functionality of a product is real, visible and much easier to understand verses a digital visual since cutaways nicely showcase and demonstrate the internals of a product in a tangible and digestible way.


    Below are examples of what cutaways can demonstrate and accomplish for a variety of products:

    With valves, seeing the type of packing and quality of the seal are critical.
    With electric motors, studying the fasteners is essential.
    With engines, examining the pistons and crankshaft are crucial.
    With transmissions, observing the strength and durability of the gear sets are vital.
    With gearboxes, detecting the internal design of the gears is important.
    With pumps, spotting the impeller design is key.

    Let’s take a look at how firefighters use cutaways. Firefighters learn about the internals of a fire hydrant or pump through fire hydrant and pump cutaways. By studying a hydrant or pump cutaway closely, firefighters increase their knowledge on the two most important tools they use on the job, develop a better understanding of how each product works, and strengthen their efficiency in the field.

    Cutaways are unparalleled for employee training because they highlight some of the strongest human senses—sight and touch. Because people are visual beings, using cutaways as a teaching method increase knowledge and understanding in manufactured products and boost confidence in employees. Through cutaways, employees attain a vast amount of valuable information that is only possible to gain through physical prototypes. To view our work, check out our gallery of cutaways.

    For more information about training cutaways, call us at 847.639.3858, email us at or fill out our form here.

  • What are gearbox cutaways and how are they are used?

    Posted on September 3rd, 2015 admin No comments

    A gearbox is a mechanical gadget within a vehicle that has a set of gears to operate at different speeds, converting the engine’s energy to the appropriate wheel speed for the road. It is also known as the transmission.

    But what are the components of a transmission system? What does it look like? What do the different gears do? To identify the working parts of a transmission system, a gearbox cutaway is needed. A gearbox cutaway is a display of the transmission, carefully sectioned for training purposes to highlight the different parts of the system involved and better understand each gear’s functions.

    transmission cutaway

    Similar to other cutaways, gearbox cutaways are made by first disassembling the car’s transmission and cleaning each part. Cutting begins after the parts have been cleaned and reassembled. Once the cutting is completed, the cutaway is painted with an eye-catching color scheme to highlight the various gears and functions of the transmission.

    Gearbox cutaways are a great training tool to show off the inner workings of a vehicle’s transmission and get a clearer understanding of how one internal component works and is part of the whole vehicle’s operating system. Gearbox cutaways take a lot of time and attention to detail to be built properly, but can be a great addition to a tradeshow or training to help clients better comprehend your product’s internal structure.

    For more information about our gearbox cutaways, call us at 847.639.3858, email us at or fill out our form here.

  • They have arrived!!!

    Posted on August 27th, 2015 admin No comments

    CalCo recently did a cutaways project for Cla-Val, one of the industry’s leading manufacturers in automatic control valves serving waterworks, fire protection, aviation ground fueling, marine and industrial customers throughout the world. They bring several new products to the marketplace each year, and their commitment to excellence and constant improvement shows in each valve they produce.

    The cutaways will be presented at the 4th annual water quality event, WEFTEC Innovation Showcase, at the end of September in Chicago.


    “We cannot thank you enough for your incredible work & quick turnaround! These pieces look incredible and will be prominently displayed at the biggest trade show we attend!” –John Pherrin, Ground Fueling Department at Cla-Val

    At CalCo, we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of all our customers each and every time. We understand the importance of meeting deadlines and want to provide a customized solution to all our customers. Client satisfaction is our first priority!

    For more information about our cutaways, call us at 847.639.3858, email us at or fill out our form here.