Many of the large components of modern gas turbines are cast, resulting in rough surface profiles, which have to be machined to achieve the component’s final state. As there are high deviations in casting components, the real geometry does not meet the ideal model dimensions and is known neither to the supplier nor to the customer. While manual 3D-scanning processes, heavily depending on the operator’s qualification, get more attention, conventional means are still the basis for quality assurance of such parts.
Although significant time reduction can be reached by automated scanning, there is still a low variety of corresponding applications for large components on the market. Flexible systems are an approach for further development as most of the manufacturers handling large components already have and use machine tools for the processing of their components.
The designed and implemented prototypical system allows the acquisition of a large component’s surface with only a few manual inputs prior to the actual scanning procedure. It can be used with existing machining tools, allowing an easy implementation for different use cases of a pre-manufacturing scan, e.g. for CAM planning. The application is implemented in a small software tool that can be adapted to other machines with low effort. The implementation has been demonstrated in a real manufacturing environment with typical environmental conditions in the shop floor. The prototypical application has been built mainly with existing components.
Following the V-Model, each domain has been investigated individually followed by a complete system investigation. With a system price below 100.000€ the price is below 10% of most automated systems on the market. The presented cost efficient, low complexity prototypical system can provide early information about the product for a digital process chain in industry 4.0, enabling flexible, intuitive and easy integration.