A look at an HAI member up close and personal.

Every day around the world, maintenance personnel and pilots open aviation oil and hydraulic-fluid cans with improper tools, risking contaminating the sensitive lubricants inside with metal shavings. The introduced debris can then wear down the moving parts of engines and hydraulic systems. To solve this problem, 25-year aviation maintenance professional Torben Biehl Jensen started TheCanKey to produce a suitable and safe tool for opening cans of aviation lubricant.

The Product That Gave the Company Its Name
Jensen founded the eponymous, Vamdrup, Denmark–based company with one product: TheCanKey. A specially designed opener for one-quart cans, TheCanKey is manufactured from high-quality plastic and has been tested and certified by a Saybolt Group of Cos. laboratory to leave no debris in the lubricant from the opener or can.

The ergonomically designed, pocket-sized device (top photo) features a nonslip surface and a hole at one end for attaching the tool to a key ring. TheCanKey can be ordered as a promotional gift, in black, personalized with the customer’s company name in one- to three-color printing on the handle.

Additional Products for Protecting Lubricants
Since its beginning in 2006, the company has expanded to include additional products designed to reduce lubricant-related contamination and spills. TheCanKey’s latest product is the FunnelCap. Advertised as a foreign object debris (FOD)–free funnel that reduces spilling and overflows typical of standard funnels, FunnelCap also allows unused lubricant to be stored without risk of leaks or contamination.

The FunnelCap (photo, left) includes a can cap or bottle fitting, a flex hose, and a hose clip; a red cap at the end of the hose creates a tight seal at the open end. Cans containing unused lubricant maintain a complete seal with or without the hose attached. The product is available for quart- and gallon-sized cans.

Using ordinary oil funnels or modified soda bottles (a common hack) to pour oil can create FOD when oil residue left on the funnel from its previous use attracts contaminants, which wiping with a cloth isn’t guaranteed to remove. The FunnelCap is designed to create a FOD-free environment by sealing at both the product’s juncture with the can or bottle it’s attached to and the end of the funnel. To further guard against lubricant contamination, the company recommends keeping the FunnelCap on the lubricant container until the vessel’s contents are thoroughly used, at which point the device can be cleaned and moved to a new container.

TheCanKey also offers the DustCap, a lid for open lubricant cans that’s designed to keep out dust and debris. Like TheCanKey device, the DustCap can be printed with the customer’s logo.

Author

  • Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.