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Video Description: Presented by Don Burnard. Large-volume, close-tolerance measurement presents unique challenges for aerospace manufacturers. Traditionally, metrology on large assemblies such as fuselages or wings has been performed using jigs, and the parts need to be moved to locations in the facility in which the measurements can be taken. However, this practice risks breakage to the parts and exposes them to security concerns during transport, which often necessitates them moving between hangars and other buildings. In this paper, we will present an alternative mobile metrology option utilizing Nikon Metrology’s laser radar (LR) technology, which bounces light off a target and then uses a sensor to measure its reflection. Precise differences in the returned wavelengths can then be used to construct highly accurate 3D models of the target’s features. For the application we will be discussing, the LR system is mounted to an automated guided vehicle (AGV), which is a portable robot. This allows the measurement system to be brought to the part, as opposed to the part needing to be brought to the measurement system. A large aerospace manufacturer employed this solution to overcome several limitations of their previous metrology system. We will examine these issues and describe in detail the technical means by which the LR mobile metrology solution solved them. We will then explore the lessons learned and potential uses for this application in additional industries. Big parts can mean big problems for manufacturers; an LR system mounted on an AGV is an elegant solution to save time and money. This project demonstrated that metrology systems can utilize robotics in innovative ways to achieve breakthrough results for manufacturers.

Course Description: This video series is not a course per se, but rather the tech papers that would have been presented in New Orleans at the annual CMSC conference.

Target Audience: Metrologists
Course ID: SSS2020.2