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3D Laser-Based Blade Inspection

June 18, 2012
High-speed, high-precision technology for aerospace, IGT, compressor parts

NEXTEC LASER METROLOGY LLC’s WIZblade turnkey metrology system for rapid, high-precision measuring of aerospace jet engine blades, industrial gas turbine blades, and compressor blades overcomes the challenges of freeform blade measurement and inspection, significantly reduces inspection time while achieving higher accuracy and sampling rates. Customers have decreased the turbine blade inspection process from eight hours a day down to 55 minutes with the WIZblade solution, according to the developer.

The large dynamic range and high accuracy of the probe makes it easy to set up the alignment loop and the airfoil cross-section path and collect hundreds of points fast and accurate, with no noise. This solution provides single point precision of 12 microns and a feature precision of 2 microns (100 points best fit), meeting the highest precision requirements for blade measurement.

The WIZblade laser scanning system quickly compares all dimensional components to the original CAD model, revealing both form and dimensional deviations within the manufacturing process. By monitoring the blade machining process and measuring the parts, it can quickly be determined if the machine output is deviating due to cutting tool deterioration and the tool offset can be adjusted accordingly. This provides closed-loop control of the machining process using the SPC results of the measurements, maintaining both process and component integrity.

WIZblade works through a combination of a proprietary 3D laser-based scanning sensor, advanced laser and vision technologies, state-of-the-art motion controller, and special software for blade alignment, blade measurement, blade analysis and inspection report. WIZblade alignment, inspection and analysis are performed automatically during production and measurement of both unfinished (forged or cast) and finished (machined, shot peened and coated) blades.

To accommodate variance in blade geometry and size, the system comes with a variety of 3-axis motion platforms and optional rotary tables. WIZblade has been designed with the flexibility to meet the needs of an array of blade manufacturers, designs and standards.