Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Enhancing quality control in aeronautics

The manufacturing industry relies heavily on precise measurement during assembly and inspection. EU-funded researchers developed novel optical sensor technology and image processing algorithms to enhance speed and accuracy while reducing manufacturing costs.
Enhancing quality control in aeronautics
In the aeronautics industry, metrology faces certain difficulties related to the combination of manufacturing very large and highly reflective parts together with the need for extreme precision and accuracy.

Conventional methods employ very large frames capable of holding both the parts and the manual measurement instruments. Inspection is thus both labour- and time-intensive, both of which significantly increase manufacturing costs.

European researchers initiated the ‘Using image processing as a metrological solution’ (Ipromes) project to develop optical image processing techniques for assembly-phase positioning as well as final product measurement.

The consortium developed an optical sensor with robust image processing algorithms suited to aeronautical components. Such structures exhibit highly reflective surfaces, curved and sharply cut edges and various hole shapes.

The Ipromes sensor exhibited increased accuracy via implementation of a structured light algorithm capable of handling various ambient illuminations. In addition, the sensor and processing software were quite flexible and user friendly. The system had the ability to repeatedly measure any arbitrary shape without restriction by employing a user-defined frame-of-reference based on measured data.

Ipromes technology should speed up the inspection process while increasing accuracy of measurements, leading to important cost reductions and enhanced quality within the aeronautics sector. Further enhancements in accuracy as well as implementation of wireless PC control have the potential to extend applications to many other manufacturing sectors.

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