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Consider All Costs of Ownership Throughout the Service Life of the Arm

Starting from the beginning of the program, it is important to assess the quality of the video arm design. The questions to ask are:

  • How much of it is plastic versus metal?
  • How strong are the mounts and other load-bearing components?
  • Are there helicoils (or just glue) used throughout the assembly to hold the fasteners?
  • What does it cost for a full production run of the arms?
  • Are you buying direct, or via the seat vendor, or via another party?
  • Are your costs going to be increased due to difficulty installing the arms into seats or aircraft?
  • What is the MTBF and the typical cost to repair or replace key parts or an entire arm?
  • In the proposed design what are the chances the harness will be damaged?
  • What will it cost each time the harness has to be removed and replaced?

Cost Factors Related to Video Arm Handling

When it comes to handling the video arms in the field, the important costs to consider include the wire harness, the surface finish, and the maintenance cycle.

♦     To what extent are video arms and/or harnesses being damaged due to mishandling during installation?
♦     How can we ensure that only well-trained personnel are handling the arms, and are using proper procedures?
♦     What is the strength of the seating structure and how likely is it that the console will be deformed at stress levels below the shear-pin rating?
♦     Are video arms and other components with premium surface coatings being properly protected during shipping and handling?
♦     What happens in the maintenance cycle? Are maintenance personnel properly trained to service the components?
♦     Are there clear instructions for adjusting the tensioning of the arms?

At S&S our objective is to design the arms in such a way that there are no costly surprises later in the ownership cycle.