4D Technology installed the high-throughput edge break inspection system at a leading aerospace engine manufacturer

4D Technology®, a wholly owned subsidiary of Onto Innovation Inc., reported that it recently installed and commissioned a 4Di InSpec AT automated inspection system at a leading aerospace engine manufacturer’s engineering facility. The system will be transferred to full production in the next quarter, 4D Technology said in a release.

“We developed the 4Di InSpec AT in conjunction with leading aerospace and aviation engine manufacturers, to dramatically improve the measurement process,” said Erik Novak, general manager of 4D Technology, in the release. “By improving measurement accuracy, the system greatly reduces rework and scrap due to rejection of actual good parts. Additionally, it improves inspection throughput by several orders of magnitude, saving critical labor and providing rapid production feedback to improve part quality.”

Aircraft and aerospace engine components may have dozens of critical specifications for chamfers and rounding, for performance and lifetime optimization. These numerous features are time-consuming to measure manually. Difficult-to-access areas must be replicated in order to measure, which further increases cycle time, according to 4D Technology.

The 4Di InSpec AT system combines the 4D InSpec surface gauge with a collaborative robot for non-contact measurement of edge break, chamfer, and round-off, and surface defects such as pits, scratches, and dents on aerospace parts. By providing measurements that take seconds, versus many minutes or hours by manual methods, the automated system is reported to substantially increase measurement throughput and labor utilization. The ability to measure features in difficult locations further improves inspection quality, the company said.

“The 4D InSpec surface gage has been widely adopted for aviation and aerospace manufacturing and MRO (rework/repair),” said Novak. “That leading manufacturers are now automating this technology into inline production underscores its high value to the industry.”

The 4Di InSpec AT is reported to provide non-contact, 3D measurement with micrometer-level resolution. Patented vibration-immune technology enables measurement on the shop floor, and purpose-built software flags out-of-spec measurements and automatically remeasures the locations. The inspection system can be integrated with Fanuc CRX 5iA or CRX10iA/L collaborative robots and includes numerous safety features including a fully enclosed cell. It also provides the ability to measure internal as well as external shaft features via fold mirrors and compact probe design, the company said.