Lufthansa Technik is developing an AutoInspect robot to automate inspection procedures for engine components at its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
The AutoInspect research project, launched in 2011, is the first stage of what will eventually be an automated process chain and is aimed to fully automate detection and assessment of defects in combustor components.
Currently, this type of repair and inspection uses a multi-stage, energy intensive and sometimes ecologically harmful inspection process. This automation would be able to mitigate cost and increase quality by transforming the process to a one automated ‘clean’ process step.
Based on the principle of white light interferometry (WLI), the goal of the AutoInspect research project is to generate digital geometry and damage information to be used for further automated repair steps such as automated milling and welding. With this optical measurement procedure the interference effect of light waves are used to conduct a high-resolution scan of the component surface. Lufthansa Technik has filed an international patent for this technology and hopes to develop similar technology to other engine products with this research.