Computer-Aided Inspection in Aerospace Manufacturing
Ian Wright posted on November 09, 2016 | | 4030 views
(Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
(Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
If you’re looking for cutting-edge manufacturing technology, look no further than the aerospace industry. From 3D-printed materials to using drones for quality assurance, what aerospace lacks in production volume it makes up for in innovation.

Computer-aided inspection (CAI)—in which production parts are directly compared to 3D CAD models—is one of the latest examples of the aerospace industry’s use of advanced technology. This isn’t just about heavyweights Airbus and Boeing, but their suppliers and the tier 2 and 3 suppliers as well. Advancements in CAI trickle down the supply chain.

Rolls-Royce LiftSystem. (Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
Rolls-Royce LiftSystem. (Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
Case in point: Level 3 Inspection LLC (L3I), a supplier of CAI services and equipment for aerospace components, recently announced that it has received the Rolls-Royce Corporation Supplier Certificate of Approval. The scope of this approval covers Rolls-Royce sub-tier suppliers for component measurement and 3D programming.

 

Approved for Aerospace

L3I also recently received a renewed ISO 17025 accreditation with a dimensional accuracy of ±2 microns, and both accreditations couldn’t have come at a better time. The company cites increasing demand for jet engine parts coming from the airline industry, likely fueled by the forecasts for Airbus and Boeing. Many of those jet engines require improved fuel efficiency to meet industry commitments, requiring better quality and tighter tolerances for critical dimensions and making CAI a vital step in the manufacturing process.

"These jet engine manufacturers approvals are rewarding for us because it helps our supply chain clients confidently use our advanced CAI capabilities to accelerate conforming parts delivery," said Level 3 Inspection CEO Bill Greene.

According to the company, L3I has performed almost 5,000 layout inspections of jet engine parts and other aerospace components. The company also stated that it has been working closely with the aerospace industry for over a decade to improve production parts inspection utilizing the company’s patent-pending automated inspection system, the Smart Inspection Station.

The Smart Inspection Station. (Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
The Smart Inspection Station. (Image courtesy of Level 3 Inspection.)
The CAI system is also designed to be used on the shop floor by a non-technical operator when programmed as a dimensional inspection "answer machine." The system is now being utilized for production parts inspection to 3D scan and inspect parts in multiple manufacturing industries, according to L3I.

For more information, visit the Level 3 Inspection website.

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