NDT.net Feb 2006, Vol. 11 No.02

YXLON is Awarded Contract by the MTU Aero Engines For 3D Computed Tomography System for Fully Automated Inline Inspection

Hamburg, October 20, 2005 - The firm MTU Aero Engines GmbH has awarded YXLON International a contract for a fully automated, 3D computed tomography inspection system: YXLON Y.CT Customized Solutions. The CT system is going to be deployed close to inline production for the quality control of high-grade aircraft turbine blades.

The MTU Aero Engines, Germany's leading manufacturer of aircraft engines and components, is going to utilize the YXLON CT system essentially to inspect cooling channels introduced into the turbine blades by means of laserbores. Due to the special material involved, non-destructive inspection processes for controlling the bores inside the turbine blades have been able to be used only to a limited extent. Industrial computed tomography will now allowa non-destructive, rapid and certain inspection decision to be made here.

With its customer-specific CT solution, YXLON is offering the possibility to carry out CT measurements within a fully automated inspection flow. At the beginning of the inspection process the CT system is loaded with turbine blades mounted on pallets. Then the CT scan is performed. Software-guided defect detection takes place after all readings have been made. An inspection statement bearing the appropriate qualifications concludes the inspection flow.

The actual stocking of the CT system occurs via a robot. The robot takes the turbine blades from a conveyor system as they exit production and places them on the CT manipulator. In the commencing measurement process, both digital radioscopic images and computed tomographs are created by means of a flat panel detector.The reconstruction unit used by YXLON follows up by generating a 3-dimensional reproduction of the entire turbine blades. The data set gained during the CT scan is analyzed and evaluated in the following analysis process using YXLON imaging software. YXLON image analysis allows a layer-for-layer measurement of the spacings between laser bores in automated operation. After a few minutes the software presents an inspection decision as to bore precision. The pieces to be inspected are sorted out, the inspection result is documented, and the turbine blades reenter the production process for further processing.

Through the introduction of the fully automated YXLON computed tomography system the MTU Aero Engines is obtaining an accurate and reliable inspection statement for pieces it has designed to meet the utmost safety standards. Without making any contact, a full-scale, 3-dimensional reproduction of the turbine blades' volume and geometry takes place within a few minutes. The CT inspection system follows production flow on a self-reliant basis, and is able to guarantee constant and dependable quality control during production 24 hours a day without receiving any additional influence.

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