Reducing inspection time from over 3 hours to just 15 minutes

NCC Tier 1 Member, GKN Aerospace, sought to develop an
automated measurement process. The project aim was to
use a non-contact laser scanner to achieve an equivalent
inspection, with an increased level of automation. The
inspection time would be reduced, increasing productivity
within the overall composite manufacturing process.

Thanks to the networking opportunities and facilitated
collaboration at the NCC, INSPHERE Ltd, a Bristol-based
SME specialising in metrology, worked with GKN to explore
opportunities for automation. Using the cutting-edge
facilities at the NCC, the inspection took place on a large
machine tool with full integration between the measurement
system and the machine tool controller. The project
delivered a completely automated non-contact inspection.
This collaborative project enabled both INSPHERE Ltd
and GKN Aerospace to find a way of reducing the time
spent measuring and reporting in the final inspection
phase of the composites manufacturing process.
Inspection time was reduced from over 200 minutes (three
hours) to just 15 minutes, replacing a labour-dependent
process with one requiring a single push of a button.
This work enabled GKN Aerospace to go on and conduct
commissioning studies at their manufacturing facility,
showcasing the innovative work conducted at the NCC.

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