DynaVibe Blog

Making Money with DynaVibe

Friday, January 08, 2016

Many repair stations and service centers are using DynaVibe to offer prop balancing and vibration analysis services, adding a nice revenue stream to their bottom line.  We’ve shared some of their stories on this blog:  KSFB Aircraft Maintenance Center, Stillwater Aircraft Services, Base Leg Aviation and Skywest Aviation to name just a few.

We’ve collected some insight from listening to how our MRO customers are using DynaVibe to let us share the good, better and best ways to use DynaVibe to boost service revenues, grow your business and create happier customers in the process.  Here is what we have learned:


Simply adding “Dynamic Propeller Balancing” services to your menu of service offerings is a good thing.  You’ll gain some business specifically because some customers need their propellers balanced, and when they learn you offer these services, they'll come to you for them.  Promoting the fact that you offer prop balancing and vibration analysis (something the DynaVibe GX2 can do) will generate some new service revenue for you.  While this approach will generate some service revenue, it is a passive approach as it depends on the customer seeking a provider of these services.


A better approach is to recognize that many owners and pilots don’t realize their prop could be out of balance, or that they have a vibration.  Paul Dye, editor-in-chief of Kitplanes Magazine, in a recent article wrote of this phenomenon of not realizing that over time, vibrations gradually creep in and grow, but go unnoticed.  We covered this phenomenon if a recent blog post, and we regularly hear from those who are amazed at how smooth their airplane is after balancing.  A better approach therefore is to ask every customer that comes in if they want their prop balanced while their airplane is in for service.  A surprising number of them will say “yes” particularly when they understand the benefits.


The best approach, the one that serves the MRO and owner or pilot best, is to use DynaVibe to complete a free baseline vibration survey on every airplane that comes into the shop.  If there is a vibration, whether propeller imbalance induced or caused by something else, the vibration survey will show it.  DynaVibe produces reports that the MRO can share with a customer that show the magnitude and type of vibrations that exist.  When made aware of this information, most customers will want to have these vibrations resolved, and they often are through dynamic prop balancing.  Furthermore, the vibration survey is a great preventative maintenance tool, providing a historical record to compare to a new vibration survey the next time that airplane comes into the shop.

Repair stations, service centers and mechanics can maximize their service revenue using the “Best” approach with DynaVibe.  Furthermore, service revenue opportunities beyond prop balancing and vibration analysis exist.  Ascutney Air uses its DynaVibe system to also offer airplane tire balancing services as well.  To increase your service revenue with DynaVibe, visit our online store to buy your system.  If you have questions about how DynaVibe works or how to use it, please get in touch with us at sales@rpxtech.com, by telephone at 469.708.8779 or by entering your email address in the form below.    

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The Frog in the Kettle: A Prop Balancing Metaphor

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The DynaVibe team can’t help but think of the frog in the kettle as a metaphor for prop balancing.  If you’re not familiar with this anecdote, it tells how a frog reacts to two different situations.  If placed in boiling water, it immediately perceives the danger and jumps out.  But if placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it doesn’t react to the gradual change in its environment and is ultimately boiled to death.  This story is a great metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to recognize and respond to gradual change.

Photo © 2010 J. Ronald Lee.

What brought this metaphor to mind was an article recently posted by Paul Dye, editor-in-chief of Kitplanes Magazine.  Paul wrote about his experience using DynaVibe to balance the prop on his RV-3, and he stated:  “It’s the old (probably apocryphal) problem of boiling the frog – if you gradually turn up the heat, it doesn’t know that the temperature is rising. With a slight degradation over time, we don’t realize we are losing balance. Then we reset, and all the smooth magic is back!

Paul nails it.  You just get used to the vibration from imbalance.  It often increases slowly, so a gradual change in vibration isn't noticed.  Many pilots and owners just assume that a certain amount of vibration “comes with the territory.”  It’s the price you pay for combustion engine-powered flight.   But it is wrong.  We get a steady stream of feedback from DynaVibe users and customers of shops that use DynaVibe to provide balancing services.  The feedback follows one of two tracks:

A. Owner whose mechanic or friend talks him into balancing the prop:

  • Owner before: “You can balance the prop if you want, but I don’t have a vibration problem.”
  • Owner after:  “Wow, I can’t believe how smooth it is!

B. Owner who is experiencing a vibration and wants to fix it:

  • Owner before: “The vibration is so bad that it is…. (followed by listing one or more symptoms of the vibration, such as avionics failures, a rough RPM range, fatigue cracks, etc.)
  • Owner after:  “Wow, I can’t believe how smooth it is!

We could go on, but we prefer to let the beneficiaries of prop balancing do the talking for us:

From a FlightLevel Aviation customer:  “While our Bonanza was in for its annual inspection late last year, FL approached us with an option to have the prop balanced. The A36 has the big IO-550, and we felt it ran fairly smooth coupled to a 3 x blade prop. For the relatively small additional price, we opted to try it out anyway. The first time advancing the throttle for take-off after the balancing was complete, I had to look a few times at the MP and Tach gauges to insure the engine was making full power! It ran noticeably smoother through all phases of flight, and the only disappointment was that we didn't do it sooner…."

From a KSFB Aircraft Maintenance Center customer:  “Can’t believe the results!  First run showed it was a long way from acceptable; 0.6 IPS.  The second run we homed in on a better solution; 0.19 IPS.  3rd run was spot on; 0.01 IPS. Compare that with the scale on the LHS [DynaVibe balancing report] which calls 0.05 ‘Excellent’.  The ‘feel’ of the plane, just sitting on the ground in the driver’s seat was remarkably different, too.

From Dennis Barker, President of Reynolds Aviation:  “The pilots were thrilled with how the yoke feels after we balance an airplane. They noticed a difference immediately."

There’s more, and you can read other testimonials on our website.  When it comes to dynamic propeller balancing, perhaps Mark Langford said it best to those who haven’t yet done this procedure on their airplane:  “You guys just don't know what you're missing...

Find out what you’re missing by contacting the DynaVibe team to learn more.  Enter your email address in the form below and we’ll respond to you.  Visit the online store to buy your own DynaVibe unit, email us with your questions at sales@rpxtech.com or just call us if you have questions about the process:  469.708.8779.

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KSFB Aircraft Maintenance Satisfies Customers with Help from DynaVibe

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

KSFB Aircraft Maintence Center is located in Seminole County, Florida, and is operated by Chris and Lisa Reilly.  Chris is an A&P technician with Inspection Authorization.  He is also a private pilot and aircraft owner.  Included among the many services he provides to his clients is dynamic propeller balancing, which he uses a DynaVibe GX2 to perform. 

Chris recently dynamically balanced a client’s Cozy Mk IV with a Lycoming IO-360 (fuel injected) engine and a Sensenich wooden cruise prop.  His client was pleased with the outcome and sent Chris some feedback email message to share his thoughts:

After finishing the installation of Belleville washers my prop (ask me why), I suspected those huge, new steel lumps under each prop bolt would play havoc with whatever primitive balance I’d achieved during the build, so today I had my local A&P do a dynamic balance.

Can’t believe the results!

First run showed it was a long way from acceptable; 0.6 IPS.

The second run we homed in on a better solution; 0.19 IPS.

3rd run was spot on; 0.01 IPS. Compare that with the scale on the LHS [DynaVibe balancing report] below which calls 0.05 “Excellent”.

The “feel” of the plane, just sitting on the ground in the driver’s seat was remarkably different, too.  I’ll put the cowls back on and fly it at the weekend, but I’m expecting a gross improvement. I’ll report results.

Most engineering exercises are a compromise.  With this result, I drove home with a big smile on my face!

If you haven’t already done this [balance your prop], give yourself a Christmas present!

DynaVibe gives pilots a smoother, safer flying experience, and provides maintenance centers with a new source of revenue.  To get your own DynaVibe system, visit the RPX Technologies online store, enter your email address below or simply call us at:  469.708.8779

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DynaVibe a "Home Run" at Stillwater Aircraft Services

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Stillwater Aircraft Services recently began using a DynaVibe GX2 to provide dynamic propeller balancing and vibration survey services.  Brian Smith, owner of this service center, is using DynaVibe to bring new work in while serving his existing clients better. 

One of Brian’s initial successes with DynaVibe came with a client who flies a Beechcraft Super Musketeer with a 200 horsepower engine and a constant speed prop.  This airplane had a known vibration problem, but it had never been addressed.  The propeller was last statically balanced in 2000. 

The initial propeller-balancing run revealed a severe vibration of 1.5 Inches Per Second (IPS).  This was well above the FAA specified maximum limit for propeller vibration of 1.2 IPS which requires that the prop be removed and statically balanced prior to dynamic balancing on the aircraft.  Even following standard dynamic balancing procedures, Brian could at best reduce the vibration by about half.  It was much better than the starting level of vibration, but still severely out of balance.  Brian pulled the prop off the airplane and took it to a prop shop to have it inspected, where he was surprised to learn that during the last static balancing 15 years ago, the weight had been added to the wrong blade. 

“When they put the prop on the balancing stand, one blade immediately fell to the floor,” said Smith.  It’s unfortunate, but once in a great while, the weights are applied to the wrong blade in the static balancing process, and that was the reason this Musketeer had experienced a vibration problem for 15 years.

After having the prop statically balanced, Brian remounted it on the Musketeer and checked the balance again using his DynaVibe system.  The static balancing had reduced the prop vibration to about .67 IPS.  Brian used the automatic weight solution calculated by the DynaVibe GX2 and almost completely eliminated the vibration, getting it down to .04 IPS.  The owner’s feedback was that his Musketeer felt like a totally new airplane!

Brian sees multiple benefits to offering dynamic prop balancing services with DynaVibe.  “It will help pull more business in, I’ll get more work off of it, but the customer gets something too – a measurable difference in the performance of their airplane.”  In addition to propeller balancing, Brian sees the advantage of the vibration survey capability that the DynaVibe GX2 provides: the ability to identify the type and source of a more complex vibration.  “I can see a half-per vibration using the DynaVibe, and know that it’s caused by a combustion problem.  That information eliminates other vibration sources and narrows it down to the specific problem I need to address.  That’s a home run.  When servicing an airplane, I don’t need to go down as many rabbit trails.”

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Balancing = Profits

Monday, October 05, 2015

At RPX Technologies, we routinely hear stories from service centers, shops, or repair stations that use DynaVibe to deliver service.  These stories have a common theme:  using DynaVibe to offer dynamic balancing service brings in more business, generates greater profit, and increases customer satisfaction.

It doesn’t take much balancing work to create a fast payback on purchasing a DynaVibe GX2 system for balancing and vibration analysis.  Just doing three dynamic balancing jobs per month provides payback in less than 5 months and adds almost $7,000 in profit during the first year.  The following table summarizes the DynaVibe business case:

Under the same balancing workload assumption of three jobs per month, opting for a DynaVibe Classic provides payback in less than two months and delivers over $9,300 in first year profit!

It’s typical for a shop that uses DynaVibe to complete a prop balancing assessment for every airplane that comes in for service.  If the prop is out of balance, owners are given the option to have it dynamically balanced, and often they accept.  What’s also typical is that once a shop begins offering dynamic balancing service, owners will bring their planes in for that reason alone, and often other maintenance issues will surface during the visit. 

Shops, service centers and repair stations that use DynaVibe to offer dynamic prop balancing enjoy a number of benefits:

  • Dynamic balancing is a great “calling card” that attracts business to the shop.
  • Customers are often amazed at how smooth their airplane flies after balancing.  DynaVibe helps create very satisfied, loyal customers.
  • In addition to prop balancing, the DynaVibe GX2 can identify other vibrations from other, more complex sources.
  • Offering dynamic prop balancing improves the status and credibility of the shop or service center.
  • DynaVibe is an excellent preventative maintenance tool, allowing mechanics to get baseline vibration surveys for comparison during future maintenance.

The DynaVibe system is easy and economical to use, adding profit to the bottom line.  To learn about using DynaVibe to dynamically balance propellers, enter your email address below, visit the RPX Technologies website, or call:  469.708.8779.

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Prop Balancing for Fun and Profit

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DynaVibe is an effective tool for dynamic propeller balancing and vibration analysis. For A&P mechanics, shops and service centers, DynaVibe is also an excellent tool for boosting customer satisfaction and service revenue.

It’s not hard to understand the customer value proposition of balancing and vibration analysis – a quick scan of the DynaVibe customer testimonial page confirms the difference flying with a balanced prop assembly makes.  Unlike other service procedures, fixing an unbalanced prop or a complex vibration makes a difference customers can feel.

So it is with vibration analysis.  Customers that have simply lived with annoying (and damaging) vibrations are grateful when mechanics are able to isolate and fix them.  And they should be:  vibrations are harmful, with the potential to damage the engine, instruments and airframe.  Resolving complex vibrations extend the life of the aircraft.

Shops, service centers and the mechanics have become a significant segment of the DynaVibe user population.  We’ve profiled some of them in recent case studies, such as Skywest Aviation and Ascutney Air and a common theme is emerging: these businesses are using DynaVibe to deliver better service, resulting in more satisfied customers and increased revenues.  It’s a scenario where everyone wins. 

Adding DynaVibe to the services mix that a shop or service center provides has the following benefits:

  • Attracts business that might otherwise go elsewhere
  • Provides differentiation by providing new services
  • Identifies other maintenance issues that brings in additional work
  • Delivers a smoother, safer flying experience
  • Troubleshoots complex vibration issues
  • Creates more satisfied customers
  • Adds profit

This video shows how DynaVibe delivers these benefits to the shops and service centers that use it:

To learn more about how your shop or service center can boost profits and customer satisfaction by using DynaVibe, contact us at 469.708.8779 or sales@rpxtech.com.

Questions? Contact us at sales@rpxtech.com