The affordability, efficiency and quality of the turboprop engine has spurred its widespread use in various industries since its entry into the market. This client is a turbine blade manufacturing company and they wanted to gain a competitive advantage by producing superior blades at a lower cost. However, they lacked CAD data for their blades, prompting their need for a reverse engineering solution.
The FAA imposes strict standards on the certification of airplane parts due to the inherent safety risks associated with the use of faulty turbine blades. This client wants to be sure the blades they manufacture will achieve the level of quality and safety the industry demands.
The traditional method of capturing turbine blade surface data is through the use of a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). However, CMM technology relies on physical contact, which requires a significantly longer scanning period to capture the same number of points 3D laser scanning achieves. The ability of 3D laser scanning to quickly generate inspection reports made it the ideal solution for this project.
The client supplied our team with four sets of five turbine blades, each one two inches in length. These blades were scanned with the Konica Minolta VIVID 9i to generate scan data accurate to .002 inches. The scan data was then aligned and arranged to form a nominal blade model. Our team reverse engineered each nominal blade to create CAD data, which was then compared to the original blade scans to create a cross section analysis and a colormap inspection report. This reverse engineered CAD data is essental at every step of the client’s manufacturing process.
The level of accuracy and speed of 3D laser scanning combined with the assurance of quality inspection reports allowed our team to deliver high quality CAD data to the client. They then used this CAD data to manufacture blades in accordance with the FAA’s strict safety standards. Our team’s ability to scan and reverse engineer each set per week resulted in significant time savings for the client compared to using a CMM. The client has reliably and economically cast high quality blades using our services, empowering them with a clear-cut competitive advantage.