Robotic Non-Destructive Inspection Improves Aircraft Safety

Ultrasonic, robotic non-destructive inspection has proved to be an effective way for the aerospace industry to ensure that large aircraft parts are safe. The demands for material testing and quality assurance in aerospace are matched by only a handful of other industries. The safety of human passengers, crew, and cargo must be of the highest importance.

Ultrasonic NDI from Genesis Systems

Genesis Systems supports a number of markets, including manufacturing, transportation, and aerospace. Genesis provides robotic, non-destructive inspection for the aerospace industry. The NSpect line was developed to inspect the large surface areas of aircraft components as quickly as possible and determine if the parts were manufactured to the required standards.

Genesis’ NSpect system employs robots with ultrasonic process equipment. This equipment conducts a thorough transmission ultrasound with a sender and a receiver. These test types include pulse echo, phased array, and shearography. The systems are also capable of ultrasound, eddy current, gauss meter, and additional testing types.

Aircraft Component Inspection Challenges

Ultrasonic NDI is precise and productive, but it requires being integrated with a large, complex robotic system that is capable of inspecting the entire aircraft part. As aircraft become larger and make use of larger components, this can prove to be a challenge for aerospace manufacturers.

It can be difficult to move such large aircraft components. The size of the robotic cells must be increased to accommodate the parts. That is not easy to do when a facility is limited by real estate. Therefore, mobile platforms are used to allow the ultrasonic NDI robots access to all areas of a component.

The end effectors on ultrasonic, non-destructive inspection robots are very complex. Not only must the end effector perform the ultrasonic NDI, but it must be able to perform different functions over long cycle times and multiple passes. The end effectors are often very large to accommodate the site of the component being inspected.

Advantages of Ultrasonic NDI over Traditional Inspection

Some advantages of ultrasonic NDI are its high penetration capability, high-sensitivity and resolution, portability, and fast interpretation of the inspection results. Ultrasonic, non-destructive inspection systems can also inspect a wide range of materials. The most common in aerospace are steel, aluminum, and composite materials.

Ultrasonic, non-destructive inspection can quickly identify cracks, laminations, and other discontinuities. The thickness of the material does not impact the length of time to perform the inspection. And defects can be found even when they are internal to the component. Because there is no radiation hazard like some other inspection methods, no disruption of work is necessary. All types of defects can be discovered regardless of their orientation on the component.

Read our non-destructive inspection case studies to learn how Genesis Systems NDI solutions help maximize productivity.

Posted in Non-Destructive Inspection
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