At United Airlines’ Technical Operations facility in Orland, FL, Bob Kosanke supervises over 550 mechanics. As Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor, Kosanke bears responsibility for handling a rigorous series of checks each airplane must pass before being approved to return to flight rotation. One of the tools these aviation mechanics rely on to move the planes efficiently through the maintenance process is Vortec’s Dual-Force Vac Drum Pump.
The Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor explains that United’s jets receive a thorough maintenance check-up every 2-4 years. “The jets are brought into our barn here where we place them in something that's a bit like a huge ‘kiddie pool.’ We push the airplane on the floor of a big square vat with inflatable sides. Once the plane is in position, we inflate the vat’s sides and wash the jet down. We use a special solution which removes the grime and dirt which build up on the planes.
After the wash down procedure, the maintenance team vacuum up the waste solution from the “pool” using the Vortec model 2109 drum pump. The waste solution goes into a 55 gallon drum that the 2109 is mounted on, and is processed further. “The washing solution is non-hazardous” notes Kosanke. “But we have to collect it since it contains metals and greases removed from the plane. Those can’t go into the city water system. The plane’s bath water has to be collected and then properly disposed of.”
Kosanke and his crew of aviation maintenance experts have been using Vortec products to accomplish this job for over ten years. “We used to use other vacuums,” says the Maintenance Supervisor, “but they were not as reliable. Washing a plane is a big job and we handle several planes a week here. The other products we used previously couldn’t stand up to this kind of work. We used to have a lot of issues with other companies’ industrial wet vacs breaking down all the time.
Kosanke notes that Vortec’s drum vacuum speeds the process for cleaning the planes when compared to the industrial wet vacs that the United maintenance crews previously used. “The 25-30 gallon wet vacs we used in the past had a float system that stopped when the vacuum became full. We had to stop the process, go empty the vacuum, then reassemble it. It was time-consuming. We wasted time dumping and re-filling.”
The Vortec Dual-Force Vac Drum Pump utilizes powerful Transvector technology which enables it either to fill or discharge a 55-gallon drum of liquid in under two minutes. The Drum Pump switches from fill to discharge mode with a quarter turn of the control knob. “Our cleaning process became faster and more streamlined when we switched to Vortec,” Kosanke observes. “Vortec products simply last longer than what we used to use. Plus the Vortec Vac doesn’t cost as much as the less efficient products we used to use. I know I can rely on Vortec’s equipment to perform to our standards and to stand up to the kind of heavy duty usage involved in our work here. We use several here at this plant. I have recommended Vortec’s products to Aircraft Maintenance Supervisors in other locations.”