Last month, NCMS member, Automated Precision, Inc. (API) presented updates on a new “time spectral measurement interferometry” (TSMI) sensor technology to a technical team at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) in Cherry Point, NC. As part of the Logistics Innovation Project (LIF), API is developing a semi-automated measuring system for non-destructive inspection (NDI) of turbine engine rotor compressor blades. The system incorporates several of API’s technologies, including their TSMI sensor (Next Generation Non-Destructive Sensing), capable of measuring parts without contact on the micron level, or down to millionths of a meter.
This system will be used to identify dimensional and cavitation-related issues, improving safety, quality, and overall efficiency of engine blade inspection. Using API’s new proprietary, cavitation sensing system to identify defects, and the 3D TSMI data to capture the precision dimensional and surface damage characteristics data, the system conducts advanced data analytics to determine whether a compressor blade is reusable and quantitatively defining the area of the blade that requires repair, or whether it should be scrapped.
According to Joe Bioty, President of API, this LIF is only the beginning of a larger effort. Using AI, machine learning, and “EDGE” data analytics, he foresees creating an automated methodology for inspecting any compressor blade. After the LIF, Bioty and Marcio Duffles of MDS Coating Technologies Corporation (MCT) plan to create a fully automated system that would incorporate robotics, machine vision, and API sensor technology to enhance speed and quality of inspection.