NDT.net January 2005, Vol. 10 No.02

Saab Aerostructures invests for the future

A new NUTRONIK NUscan 10-axes dual bridge UT-system
for complexe parts for the aircraft and aerospace industrie.

Composite is becoming a more common and more important material in airplane manufacturing. Saab Aerostructures is at the front edge when it comes to composite development and manufacturing, and it is an area we believe in and that we are investing greatly in. One example is the investment in new machine equipment for non-destructive testing. The equipment is used for inspection of composite components and bonded components and the supplier is the German firm Nutronik.

“The project is an important investment for us. We chose to invest in the project in order to accomplish existing programs, but also to prepare ourselves for future programs. All in total, we have invested slightly more than Euro1.5 million in the project,” says Jan Vaara, project manager.

The machine scans, using ultrasound, the components for defects such as air entrainments or other objects. It is unique and well adapted to the complex products Saab Aerostructures manufactures. The machine has eleven axes, which means that it can perform many different movements and can reach components with advanced geometries. This even makes it possible to increase the scanning speed.

“Because the machine is so advanced, we can decrease the number of adjustments and runs, and we thereby increase our efficiency. One of the goals set up by the project group when we decided to make this investment was to reduce scanning time by 50 percent,” explains Jan Vaara.

The machine has several extreme functions and systems that all interact. A synchronization system collates the geometry from the tests with the results from the ultrasound to evaluate the component.

The machine was installed in Saab Aerostructures plant in Linköping this last spring. By the end of summer, the qualification trials for internal and external customers had been completed and the machine is now at the beginning of its production phase.

“We manufacture an increasing number of composite components, which makes the investment a true investment for the future. So far we are very pleased with the machine and it meets all our high demands,” says Jan Vaara.

This Article was first published in Company News Brief from Saab Aerostructures 2004-5

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