High Performance 3D Scanning System

NCMS Project #: 140396

Problem: The Naval Foundry and Propeller Center (NFPC) fabricates propulsors and propellers for U.S. Navy submarines as well as selected surface ships.  Propulsor components must be fabricated to exacting 3D accuracies; inspection requires state-of-the-art measuring systems and processes.  NFPC is now dependent on an inspection system, Automated Propeller Measurement System (APOMS), developed in the 1980’s.  The cost of maintaining APOMS is increasing, while the reliability is declining.  The original supplier no longer supports the system.  APOMS inspections are on a critical path for all U.S. submarine construction; there is now a medium-high risk of delay to submarine schedules if any down time is experienced with APOMS.  The objective of this project is to produce and deliver a portable high-performance Accordion Fringe Interferometry (AFI)-based scanner, designated AFI 5000, which will be capable of scanning NFPC propulsor components equally, or more, effectively than APOMS.  Features will include the ability to scan large ½ square meter areas, larger with stitched multiple scans, yielding millions of regularly spaced highly accurate points in seconds in an open-shop environment without the routine use of sprays, or coatings.

Benefit: The project will result in $1 million annual cost avoidance by providing a back-up to the APOMS, and validating technology for future integration into future systems, including APOMS.

Solution/Approach: The project has delivered an operating AFI 5000P system mounted on a portable stand, ready for production use at NFPC.  NFPC will validate the system in production to gain certification for use as a final acceptance tool.  The AFI 5000P will then serve as a back-up to any failure of APOMS.  In parallel the AFI 5000P will be evaluated for integration as a replacement measurement device in the APOMS, as well as the ability to be incorporated in the SU-16 machining center to be installed at NFPC in 2007 to achieve on-machine inspection eliminating the need to transport propulsors to the APOMS for in process inspections.

Impact on Warfighter: The total lead time for delivering a nuclear submarine will be protected and/or reduced.  Turnaround time for repairs and replacement components will be reduced.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (NFPC)
  • U.S. Air Force (WR-ALC) (observer)

Industry Participation:

  • Dimensional Photonics Int.
  • Manufacturing Resources Inc. (MRI)
  • GFM
  • NCMS

Final Report