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Gas Turbine Engine Coupler

The Challenge

Customer: Subcontractor to a major gas turbine engine manufacturer.

The client needed a custom designed automated tool capable of generating substantial clamping force in order to repeatedly couple/decouple gas turbine engines to a test generator. The scope of the entire project the client was working on was very large, however, the ability to repeatedly couple/decouple engines from the test cell autonomously was critical.

Engines that have been tested are extremely hot and must cool down for 4+ hours before they can be manually removed from the cell and the next engine loaded for testing. Additionally, space in the test cell was limited and only a small window was available for the custom tooling to occupy. The tooling needed to be able to generate upwards of 5000 pounds of force in order to join the engine to the test cell and do so in a coordinated, controlled motion to prevent damaging the engine or the test cell.


MiQ was selected to go through a concept development phase to determine if a feasible solution could be generated. After review of several potential ideas generated by MiQ, client awarded MiQ both the engineering design and manufacturing program. The concept development phase was critical as it allowed both the client and MiQ the opportunity to mitigate risk and gain a higher level of confidence in the future success of the project. Ultimately, MiQ was able to successfully meet all the demands of the design and design, build, and install a custom piece of equipment in the test facility. This automated system has reduced hours of downtime between tests to minutes.

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