Compressor-blade inspection

Compressor-blade inspection

Modern 3D measurement of compressor blades during their entire lifecycle

Given the cost pressures in the aviation industry and demanding production schedules, OEMs and MRO facilities need solutions that can quickly measure and inspect the entire blade.

Optical 3D metrology technologies from GOM produce accurate full-field 3D measuring data fast. With that data, you’ll be able to perform an endless number of evaluations on the part over its lifetime, as well as optimize your design, production, maintenance and repair processes.

Design and Composition

Thanks to the latest design tools, compressor-blade airfoils are becoming more 3D-shaped in an effort to increase blade performance and fuel efficiency. The high-end data delivered by GOM solutions can support your design efforts, as well as offer new options for problem-solving.

For high-volume parts like compressor blades, OEMs seek new ways to increase the profitability and lifespan of each part, without increasing its cost. Data mining is the key to achieving this — and GOM solutions deliver the data you need.

Our solutions

From drop forging, machining, and the finished part, to maintenance, repair and overhauls (MRO), ATOS technology satisfies the most demanding quality-assurance requirements with unrivalled speed.

Measurements in minutes

For high-volume parts like compressor blades, the aviation industry demands very fast cycles from OEMs. A standard measurement of the compressor blade using our SmartTeach software will enable you to find the best compromise between the measurement speed allowed and the quality level that you require.

With our advanced ATOS 5 for Airfoil sensor, we have achieved a cycle time of under 3 minutes for 18 measurement positions.

Typical applications of ATOS solutions for compressor blades

  • Prototyping 
  • Reverse engineering
  • First-article inspection reports (FAIR)
  • Measuring forging in production
  • Validating key characteristics for compliance with tight tolerances (MRO)
  • Building digital twins
  • Inspecting the surface for defects (MRO)
  • Feedback for life and performance prediction

Manufacturing

As the industrial internet of things gains momentum, manufacturing is becoming smarter, more automated and more digitalized. Increased connectivity on the shop floor and through out the design process have also elevated the importance of digital twins — and therefore the value of using modern optical 3D metrology.

Our solutions are flexible enough to fit the current state of your digital transformation and your desired level of automation — whether you need a basic solution now to manually inspect small parts, or plan to shift to an automated in-line system to capture the most challenging airfoil geometries.

ATOS technology can be used for:

  • Shop floor, production environment
  • First article laboratories
  • Manual or automated inspections
  • Single or multi-part inspection
  • Flexible to meet the needs of the different stages compressor blades from HP to LP

From the rough and semi-finished stage of the compressor blade to its finished state, ATOS 3D scanners and measurement machines can be used at every stage to:

  • Measure molds and dies (forging)
  • Inspect airfoil thickness, profile and root
  • Validate machining processes
  • Prepare first-article inspection reports (FAIR)
  • Create a permanently available image of the real part (digital twin)

Digital twins: a new source of value creation

Digital-twin technology already plays an important role in R&D and manufacturing, and its significance will increase. With 3D metrology from GOM, you can prepare yourself for the future.

A digital twin can be used not only to validate the machining, but also to track the condition of each blade over time and predict lifespan and performance. High-resolution digital twins can be created at any time during the production process.

Advantages of digital twins

  • Compare actual blade with master parts and/or the drawing
  • Track and trace condition of blade
  • Obtain deeper insights about blade to feed back into the design team
  • Virtually assemble, test, simulate and validate new blade designs before investing in production 
  • Share the data with your suppliers to ensure a perfect fit  
  • In future, use big-data models to predict performance characteristics 

In addition, it is also possible to cut and slice any section of the digital twin and calculate the results for as many characteristics as you need to meet the older industry standards.

Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO)

Once the engine is in operation, it will undergo regular inspection and maintenance. As airlines aim to increase the intervals between each maintenance visit, modern 3D metrology from GOM can help MRO shops to extend the life of the compressor blades, or reduce the time required for each service visit.

Defects on compressor blades

Numerous types of defects can befall a compressor blade.  Defects can appear in different blade zones (A, B. C), on different sides of the airfoil (convex or concave), and on different types of edges (leading or trailing). Defects include undersize chord, reduced thickness and roughening of blade surface, but also problems such as

  • Dimension faults
  • Corrosion and wear on the blade
  • Dents, nicks on the blade surface
  • Gross deformation and creep compared to the blade's original condition

Our solutions for MRO

ATOS 3D scanners and measuring machines produce a vast amount of accurate high-resolution 3D data. This data empowers MRO technicians and engineers to quickly pinpoint deviations in shape, profile and edges, deep-dive into the causes, and make faster decisions on the best corrective measures.

Often, a part that would be scrapped based on visual inspection with the naked eye can also be saved with insights from the 3D data and the digital twin. As airlines install more sensors on their aircraft, MROs need to adopt digital-twin technology as well to stay competitive.

Benefits of ATOS technology for MRO

  • Analyze the surface of the blade for structural damage and defects
  • Characterize the type of defect 
  • Compare blade with blueprint or drawing
  • Check features with very tight tolerances 
  • Increase the rate of reusing blade without ‘touching’ it 
  • Improve your predictions about future maintenance and repair needs

Automated Solutions

Discover our best 3D measurement machines for compressor blades

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