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|NDT.net Issue - 2015-05 - NEWS |
Multi-axis robotic device improves ultrasonic inspection of parts|
Lewistown, PA - April 3, 2015 - GE Measurement and Control, Inspection Technologies division, announced the issuance of two patents for the use of dual multi-axis robotic devices for parts inspection (U.S. Pat. No. 8,833,169 and UK Pat. No. 2497418B). The patents cover a robotic inspection system that uses a pair of cooperating, multi-axis robots mounted on linear slides to perform ultrasonic inspection of parts. Features described in these patents can be found in GE’s Hydrastar ultrasonic inspection product.
Hydrastar systems are deployed globally at several aerospace manufacturers, specifically those that build composite airframe and jet engine components for major airframe and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). These systems have proven to be very flexible, are high through-put machines, and are available with a variety of ultrasonic end effectors for both conventional and phased array ultrasonic methods.
“We’re extremely pleased to be recognized for the development of automated ultrasonic inspection technologies for critical airframe and aircraft engine structures which is consistent with industry needs for flexible, high productivity solutions,” said Jeffrey Stetson, Testing Machine Leader for GE Measurement & Control, Inspection Technologies division. “By utilizing commercially available six axis robots, GE’s Hydrastar platform provides an outstanding, standardized solution, replacing conventional Cartesian-based gantry systems.”
Additional proprietary application technologies available on the Hydrastar platform include GE’s Wide Phased Array TTU squirter tool (U.S. Pat. No. 8,650,959), which can provide up to six times the through-put of conventional ultrasonic squirter tools and GE’s Phased Array Surface Adapting ultrasonic method (U.S. Pat. No. 7,581,444), which uses the time of flight information from an ultrasonic signal to provide real-time adjustment of phased array focal laws to accommodate changing geometries.
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