In 2010, An FAA certified repair depot was looking for a supplier of heating elements for a specific type of latch used on European built airliners. The OEM latch heaters were typically lasting about a year or less in service before the wires joints would fail and then would require the entire latch assembly be pulled to replace the failed heater.
The airlines wanted more choices in where they could purchase the repaired latch assemblies with performance and lifetime at least equal to the OEM. Our customer was willing to perform the repairs but the OEM controlled the particular supplier of heating elements and they would not supply third party repair stations.
The customer came to us and asked if we could reverse engineer the original heating element, and develop a custom designed drop-in replacement that could pass all the FAA testing requirements. We worked with the customer and created a laser cut ceramic heater with improved solder joints and potting characteristics that meets or exceeds the OEM performance.