Atec Test Cell Advantages

Caroline BennittAviation Support

Updated September 5, 2018

From 65 years of experience, we are aware of Atec’s position in the test cell marketplace. We can deliver project success to any test cell project. Our tenured expertise and external linkages are unexcelled. Atec has active relationships with all major aeroengine OEMs. We are a gold supplier to the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. Our contracting methods are the most flexible in our test cell industry. Atec’s ownership and direction have been stable for over 40 years, and our employee tenure is world renowned. Below is a list that highlights the benefits of working with Atec versus other providers on your test cell needs:

  1. Multiple Structural Solutions
    • Most companies offer poured in place concrete wall solutions for their test cells, whereas Atec has a wide variety of solutions we have used for test cells
      • Traditional Poured in Place concrete test cells. These have their advantages, especially where huge mass is critical. Atec can build your company a classic test cell for very large (and smaller) engines
      • Tilt-wall/Tip-up Wall concrete panel test cells
        • Faster & lower cost
        • Reduced labor hours, reduced labor expertise
        • Stronger & quieter concrete by custom ingredients/mix
        • Less structure because thrust frame not part of building
      • Phoenix Modular Test Cells
        • Best suited for APU’s and Turboshaft facilities
        • Dramatically reduces on-site erection time
        • Phoenix test module walls are acoustic panels bolted together, erected on a floor that can be shipped to your site pre-assembled
        • PhoenixPlus test cells are for small to medium thrust jet engine applications
          1. PhoenixPlus leverages from the long used T4/T8 concept used by the Air Force but has greater flexibility in the footprint and walls
          2. Acoustic panels are support by a steel frame
          3. The floor of the facility is part of the foundation concrete work built by a local contractor
        • Both the Phoenix and the PhoenixPlus test cells are technically “equipment” as the walls or modules are bolted to the support frame and can be relocated to other sites. They can be purchased out of “equipment” budgets rather than “facility” budgets, and depreciated/financed as “equipment”
        • Both can be used as either floor mounted test stands or Atec’s stand alone test stand overhead Arachnid support structure, reducing the structural strength that must be built into the test facility
      • Metal Walled Test Cells
        • Stemming from the recognized leadership of Vital Link, Atec, and Celtech in hush houses and bolstered by computer modeling and neural network testing, new designs for super efficient metal test cells for larger jet engines have been developed at Atec. These metal cells will offer:
          1. Cost savings, especially where concrete construction resources are not favorable
          2. Quicker completion on site, as major fabrications are completed in factory for timely erection on site
          3. No cracking or concrete degradation/FOD
          4. Acoustics  & air flow modifications flexibility  for upgrades, new engines
          5. Simpler foundations from weight reduction and thrust frame isolation
  2. Greater Integration of Services
    • Most test cell companies offer the Design of the equipment  and Project Management of the complete project. Atec excels at both of these
    • Additionally Atec has these capabilities:
      • In house manufacturing. Atec’s family of companies includes Vital Link (large weldments and acoustic panels), Celtech (test equipment), Hager (machining) and Atec (test equipment, electrical systems, data acquisition systems, space equipment, deep sea equipment)
      • Atec doesn’t have to monitor a network of subcontractors spread throughout the world. Instead much of Atec’s manufacturing is done inhouse. Resource leveling between factories simply requires an executive decision to move work from one shop to another. All shops get the advantage of sharing best practices between themselves
      • Atec does most of the US Air Force test cell work. The military insists on a greater level of modularization/standardization than the commercial world. Atec is able to leverage this concept into start air, fuel, lube and data acquisition systems that have a greater level of standardization than typical commercial solutions. This reduces  price, delivery times and sustainment issues
  3. Independent Thrust Frame
    • Adaptable to any equipment
    • Isolates vibration & stress from building
  4. Control Cab (exterior)
    • Moveable & Modular
    • Changeable without construction
    • Isolated from vibration & noise
  5. Skidded Utilities/Subsystems (exterior)
    • Moveable & Modular
    • Changeable without construction
    • Repairable without interior test cell interruption
  6. ADAQ™ is proven in 80 diverse utilizations since 2006
    • National Instruments – Labview, LabWindows & CVI
    • COTS hardware for easy servicing
    • Owner configurable for screens, TPSs, trending, auto test, now on 3.8 and 4.0, more
    • Running Turbofans, Turboshafts, APUs and test benches now
    • Originally written for open (user) micro server implementations; not a super proprietary minicomputer conversion
  7. Tenured, stable Ownership, Management & Tech staff
    • No foreign or finance entity in ownership
  8. Progressive Contracting
    • Shared, hybrid contract efforts
    • Collaborative – work jointly with user
    • Building commercial resume at lower margin
    • Local subs and offset initiatives utilized
    • Owner or construction company can be prime
  9. Service/Support
    • Electronic distance help network with 24/7 Hotline
    • 10 locations internationally
    • World-wide FSR teams and trainers
    • MSAs & Repairs
    • 120 Engineers, 60 Test Cell SMEs
  10. Green
    • All sub-systems above ground
    • Modular, contained, visible, servicable
  11. Approvals, Certifications & Licensing
    • AS9100D, ISO9001, and ISO 14001 Regimens
    • FAA Certification of ADAQ, TurboFan Test Cell and Thrust Measurement System
    • Honeywell Engines and APUs Licensee
    • SAE Test Cell Subcommittee (EG-1E) & AIAA TETWoG Member
    • State Department & DOD ITAR, FCPA, Export and Manufacturing (SAMs) approvals
    • Boeing Gold Supplier, and self-release for many other OEMs
    • Accounting, ERP and Contract Administration systems approvals
    • NASA National Sub-Contractor of the Year for 2016
    • DCMA National Top 500 Contractor for 2018