Portable Large Shape Inspection System

NCMS Project #: 140397

Problem: The Warner Robins ALC has identified urgent needs for a portable, very high performance, scanning system that can inspect surfaces of 700 large aircraft panel fabrication tools, now checked manually, and to perform in-process inspection of aircraft panels fabricated on their newly installed reconfigurable press.  The goal of this project is to accomplish both tasks by developing, and installing at WR-ALC, a high-performance inspection system, designated AFI 5000P, capable of operating in an open-shop environment, without the use of coatings or the need to move the tool to a centralized inspection area.  The AFI 5000P will be designed for operation in two modes: 1) press mode: installed with a manipulator for use with the WR-ALC reconfigurable press, and 2) portable mode: installed in a portable instrument stand for use at point-of-need inspections.

Benefit: Cost avoidance of $482K in the first year, and annual savings of $252K in future years while achieving a vital link in the ISO 9000 strategy of WR-ALC to increase quality levels and the reliability of repaired hardware thus increasing readiness levels.  When a requirement for a one-time replacement panel is received, the time required to re-certify the tool will be greatly reduced to reduce the turn-around flow time for the repair.

Solution/Approach: The project provided an operating AFI 5000P system mounted on a portable stand, for production use at WR-ALC.  The deliverable will be a production ready system. After certification, it will then immediately be used to perform baseline inspections on all 700 aircraft panel fabrication tools.

Impact on Warfighter: Hardware repairs achieved within shorter cycles with improved quality to provide greater reliability along with improved availability.

DOD Participation:

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

Industry Participation:

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

Final Report