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NDT.net Issue - 2014-07 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2014-07
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)

Aerospace Demands Simpler And More Productive Non Destructive Testing, Integrated Into The Global Aircraft Manuacturing Process

Tecnatom S.A.94, Madrid, Spain

These are some of the conclusions stated by the three experts from Boeing and Airbus who participated in the Plenary Forum within the 3rd Workshop on NDT applied to Aerospace, organized by Tecnatom at its premises in San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid)

In addition to the Plenary Forum, the Workshop included visits to 6 practical stations or showrooms, where attendees could learn first-hand the company’s technological capabilities

Madrid, June 2014. Tecnatom, leader industrial group in Non Destructive Testing, gathered over 60 professionals, from 30 companies and 8 countries at its headquarters in San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid), on the occasion of the celebration of the 3rd Workshop on NDT applied to Aerospace, on June-12.

The Workshop, aimed at creating a meeting and communications platform to exchange ideas and experiences and share opinions on the needs of the NDT sector, included a first part of practical visits to technical stations or showrooms, held in the morning, and a second part of discussion and debate in the Plenary Forum, held in the afternoon. Among attendees there were Quality directors, production leaders, supply managers, component inspection managers, UT level 3 and professionals developing their activities in the area connected to quality control for the manufacture of aerospace components within companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Alenia, Konsberg and Sukhoi, as well as a variety of tier one and tier two suppliers such as Aernnova, Aciturri, Alestis and Sofitec, tech centres such as FADA-CATEC, AIMEN and FIDAMC and Tecnatom’s partners such as M2M, Marietta NDT and Álava Ingenieros.

During the technical visits, attendees could learn first-hand the latest developments carried out by Tecnatom on NDT, its functionalities and relevance of the systems and equipment shown at the demos split in the following 6 showrooms:

-WiiPA, Wireless Positioning for Manual Inspection. The visit to this station has enabled showcase a technique developed by Tecnatom in collaboration with CATEC to perform Non Destructive Testing inspections with wireless positioning system, using infrared video cameras to control parts manually during the manufacturing process or other elements within the aircraft in service to which mechanic codification systems are not appropriated.

-SICOR & InspectView, Application and Software for Ultrasonic Inspections. In this station, participants could learn about SICOR, a product enabling inspection of revolution components, the InspectView Software, especially developed by Tecnatom for the acquisition and evaluation of data from the ultrasonic inspection, and the use and integration of the ultrasonic data to be exported to the CATIA information.

-Robotic Inspection Cell. This is about a powerful HW-SW technology, based on robots, enabling the integration of the complete inspection process: teaching-probing, scan path generation, post-processing, 3D simulation, acquisition, evaluation, reporting and auxiliary devices in a unified environment.

-TecnaLUS, Laser Ultrasonic System for Composite Inspection. Attending this station, guests could see the latest technology developed by Tecnatom, based on the generation of laser ultrasonics. This is about a robot which holds and moves the part meeting the laser beam and ensuring the right hit over the right zone. TecnaLUS represents a step forward because it integrates laser ultrasonic technology with the concept of integration from Tecnatom’s Robotic Inspection Cell, i.e. all the systems, including software, hardware, security, data, alarms,… are being integrated and controlled within a unique productive system.

-UT Equipments, in this station, Tecnatom Group exposed its products devoted to performing ultrasonic inspections and some other techniques. Thus, attendees could see and listen to SONIA UT Electronics, Tecnatom’s development focused on providing state-of-the-art inspection equipment to very technical demanding markets such as aerospace and nuclear. Its modular and distributed architecture meets very exigent needs of inspection, digitalizing the UT signal and transmitting it by fibre optic so it avoids attenuation and distortion generated by transducers cables. By its side, Tecnatom Group’s subsidiary, M2M, presented two products especially conceived to aerospace: SAUL, a new real-time adaptive inspection method, which can control complex surfaces, and GEKKO, small portable inspection system with capacity to 64 parallel channels and able to offer at the same time matrix-probe management and real-time enhanced imaging techniques (Total Focusing Methods).

-Tecnatom Innovation, where the company had the opportunity of showcasing its resources devoted to investing in R&D, which have driven it to be part of very innovative projects in collaboration with important and prestigious organizations and industrial partners. Some of these projects are TARGET, looking for intelligent and environmentally sustainable technologies for generating structures of composite materials, which is coordinated by Airbus Operations and in which it works with more companies such as Aernnova, Aciturri and MTorres; DIAAMond Project, in the framework of the Clean Sky programme, in collaboration with CATEC to develop non-destructive inspection approaches for automatic detection and monitoring of damage evolution, or LOCOMACHS Project aimed at significantly reducing or totally eliminating non-added value operations of the current airframe assembly process of composites, metals and hybrid structures. On Tecnatom’s own initiative and own funds, more developments were presented such as the application through transmission ultrasonic (TTU) inspection by means of phased array which involves production increment 7 times, compared to traditional techniques.

Expert panel
A Plenary Forum took place to finalize the Workshop that was led by Vicente Cortés, Ensia’s CEO and Level 3 Responsible for Airbus Operations; Willian Motzer, Boeing’s Associate Technical Fellow NDE, and Pedro Arroyo, Airbus Defense and Space’ head of Quality of Materials, Processes & Metrology and president of the Spanish Aerospace Committee on NDT. Three experts in the field linked to the world’s two prime, who gather a century of experience in Non Destructive Testing applied to Aerospace and who provided their responsibility and experience in certifications, trends in NDT, as well as an orientation towards subcontracting and externalization of specific services.

Among the challenges the industry is facing, participants in the roundtable stated the necessity of adapting t today’s demanding production levels within aerospace, an industry which is increasingly producing and selling more aircraft and whose growth forecast remains unstoppable. A sector which also requires a change as to design and production engineering towards a new collaborative engineering model, which demands the inspection methods to be taken into consideration from early design steps of the aircraft so the Non Destructive Testing business has to respond to this question providing a combination of techniques to execute inspection integrally.

In the course of the Plenary Forum, Vicente Cortés, Ensia’s CEO and Level 3 Responsible for Airbus Operation, referred to aerospace as a sector which doesn’t cease to progress, with new technologies and new materials. He empathized that the challenge is currently focused on improving productivity and simplicity. Too complicated developments with very advanced technologies sometimes complicate operationativity and are not very attractive when putting them into production. Finally he thanked Tecnatom’s capability, a company originally connected to the nuclear sector, to hold this kind of Workshops and gather the aerospace sector specializing in NDT.

Aboout the importante of conceiving the inspection process integrally in the global fabrication process of the aircraft and not individually, has spoken William Motzer, Boeing’s Associate Technical Fellow NDE. In this sense, he highlighted his satisfaction with the visit and the Workshop, where he says to have enjoyed and learnt new concepts and other many that he was aware of but not in so much detail. “I’m impressed because Tecnatom is working on system organization rather than just making an individual scanner or a piece of electronics that works for the scanner, organizing all these things into a comprehensive system”, he added.

Pedro Arroyo, Airbus Defense and Space’ head of Quality of Materials, Processes & Metrology and president of the Spanish Aerospace Committee on NDT, referred to the concepts of qualification and certification of personnel engaged in non-destructive testing and the process of harmonization of European and American standards. Bodies from both sides are currently working to implement a “technically equivalent” normative, especially due to the characteristics of this industry which is global and has suppliers from across the world.

In the closing remark of the Workshop, Juan Ortega, Tecnatom’s Strategy Director and Business Development, thanked the attendance of all the guests and showed his pride in being capable of gathering companies from many countries, as well as generating the networking which helps to identify the needs of a sector, considered strategic for the company.

For further information, please contact:
Marta Mojarro
954 62 27 27 / 639 84 74 99

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