TechJet Aerofoils, an Israeli turbine-blade manufacturing joint venture part-owned by Rolls-Royce, has begun using a laser- based blade inspection system developed by Nextec Technologies 2001. The system allows blades to be inspected on the production line and saves time compared with using a co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM).

Combining a laser probe, motion controller and special software, the WIZblade system takes the blade computer-aided design (CAD) model, selects cross-sections to be scanned, automatically adjusts to the blade's orientation, scans both sides of the blade, and records and displays deviations from the CAD model.

Nextec says blade alignment takes 50s, with a double-sided cross-section scan taking 9s. "A quality-control procedure that lasted 8h employing a conventional CMM with a touch probe now takes 55min," says TechJet general manager Ronen Navick.

Source: Flight International