The key weight-bearing component of Lockheed Martin’s industrial exoskeleton, the Fortis Tool Arm, is now available as a separate product. Capable of supporting up to 50 lb, the unpowered lightweight tool arm relieves fatigue as users work with heavy industrial tools.

The exoskeleton transfers the weight of heavy loads from the operator’s body directly to the ground through a series of joints at the hips, knees, and ankles. Workers operating heavy, powered hand tools, especially when working overhead or on vertical surfaces, ordinarily have to support tool weight to accomplish the task. The Fortis Tool Arm supports this load and isolates much of the vibration and torque-kick from the tool. Users report two-thirds less fatigue, resulting in higher quality work, greater productivity, and fewer musculoskeletal injuries.

Recently, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences concluded that the Fortis exoskeleton could mitigate nearly all injuries from industrial power tools by making them effectively weightless during operation. www.lockheedmartin.com

PAS Technologies grows in Ohio

Operating globally in six locations, PAS Technologies Inc. plans major growth initiatives at the company’s Hillsboro facility east of Cincinnati, Ohio. PAS provides original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) products, services, and solutions for commercial and military aerospace.

The Hillsboro PAS One-Stop Shop can take a part from raw material through machining, welding, brazing, coating, and heat treating within its own facilities.

Recently, PAS Hillsboro was awarded an OEM contract with a major aerospace engine manufacturer. With this expanded work, the company anticipates bringing on 20 new employees in addition to the 21 people brought to the workforce in 2016. www.pas-technologies.com

Global aircraft refurbishing market to grow

The global market for aircraft refurbishing projects should post a steady revenue growth at 5.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2026, reports Future Market Insights. Presently valued at $4 billion, the market should generate more than $7.13 billion revenues by the end of 2026.

Demand for aircraft refurbishing is expected to grow due to its benefits for aircraft operational efficiency. According to the report, airlines aiming to improve performance of their aircraft are refurbishing interiors and lowering gross weight to reduce aircraft fuel consumption.

Around 890,000 aircraft refurbishments will be made globally through 2026. North America is likely to dominate with more than 30% share on revenues. In volume, the aircraft refurbishing market in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region will grow at nearly 6% CAGR. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) aircraft refurbishing market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.9%.

The “Aircraft Refurbishing Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026” report states that more than half of the market’s global revenues will come from refurbishment of narrow-body aircraft, while wide-body aircraft will collectively account for more than 40% share. Commercial cabin refurbishing will hold the most global revenues with 83% share. www.futuremarketinsights.com

PEMCO launches B737-700 freighter aircraft conversions

Aviation maintenance and engineering company PEMCO World Air Services has launched its passenger-to-FlexCombi and passenger-to-freighter conversion programs for the Boeing Next Generation 737-700 aircraft. The programs will be marketed as B737-700FC (FlexCombi) and B737-700F (freighter).

The launch customer for the PEMCO B737-700FC is Bahrain-based Chisholm Enterprises, a provider of tailored aviation and business solutions in the Middle East. Its subsidiary Texel Air, a non-scheduled cargo airline, will operate the B737-700FC from Bahrain International Airport.

PEMCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group Inc., will induct the first aircraft for B737-700 passenger-to-FlexCombi modification at PEMCO’s facilities in Tampa, Florida, during the second quarter of 2017. PEMCO expects to receive a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certification (STC) by mid-2018. After the initial issuance, PEMCO plans to certify both B737-700 conversion programs with the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Civil Aviation Administration of China. www.atsginc.com; www.pemcoair.com

PSA Airlines selects IFS Maintenix

American Airlines’ North America regional subsidiary PSA Airlines has selected IFS Maintenix IT system to support its enterprise-wide fleet maintenance management needs. It is the first order to be announced since the IFS acquisition of Mxi closed in January 2017.

PSA recently embarked on a strategic growth plan and has more than doubled its fleet from 49 aircraft to 115 since 2014, with plans to operate up to 150 Bombardier CRJ aircraft.

PSA selected IFS Maintenix to deliver complete life cycle maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) functionality across the engineering, planning, line maintenance, and materials management departments.

IFS Maintenix is a web-enabled, mobile-ready software platform built to address aviation maintenance in a single integrated business solution with paperless execution and compliance. www.ifsworld.com/us; www.mxi.com; www.psaairlines.com

Republic of Korea selects Boeing to sustain F-15 fleet

Boeing has received a five-year contract to continue long-term sustainment of the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) F-15K aircraft. Boeing has been sustaining the ROKAF’s F-15K fleet since 2012. Hyundai Glovis, a Seoul-based supplier, will partner with Boeing on logistics and supply chain distribution. www.boeing.com; www.glovis.net/eng