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Olkiluoto, the world’s largest and most modern nuclear power station, with an output of 1.600 Mwatts, relies on German technology. During the final assembly of turbine manufacturing at Siemens, blades are installed to the rotor and measured in the housing. This is a balancing act between optimal efficiency and necessary safety margins between blades and housings involving measurements of just tenths of a millimeter.

The steam turbine, which is more than 12 meters long and has a diameter of 6.7 meters, is currently waiting for the final cross section before distribution to the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power station in Finland. The freestanding blades of the low-pressure turbines are aligned to tenths of a millimeter, despite their mass and weight. “The deciding factor for these blades is their distance to the housing,” says Stefan Hoeyng, plant engineer for final assembly of steam turbines at Siemens AG Power Generation. The gap between turbines and housings must be kept as small as possible, as the larger the distance, the more steam will pass through and this lowers the efficiency. Turbine blades are not allowed under any circumstances to come in to contact with the housing as this causes damage.

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(Delcam International Inc.: Windsor, Ontario, Canada) -- Version 5 of Delcam’s PowerINSPECT software includes support for five-axis scanning with Renishaw’s REVO probe. This new release of the world’s most successful hardware-independent inspection software also features the ability to use multiple alignments within parts or assemblies, additional GD&T features, more flexible best-fit algorithms, improved CMM connectivity. and more versatile report generation.

PowerINSPECT 5 is one of the first inspection software packages to support Renishaw’s REVO for the verification of both geometric and free-form shapes on CMMs. The combined solution offers faster and more accurate measurement of feature-rich parts, such as powertrain components, and complex doubly-curved surfaces, including those found in aerofoils and turbine blades.

As the five-axis REVO head is much lighter and more dynamic than the CMM, with a significantly better frequency response, it’s able to follow changes in the part geometry much more quickly. In addition, five-axis scanning minimizes dynamic errors caused by the inertial forces that affect the moving mass of the CMM structure.

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(Metris: Leuven, Belgium) -- Metris (MTRS, Euronext Brussels) releases Laser Radar Driver 5.1 software to set new precision standards for automated, noncontact inspection of holes in large measuring volumes. Depending on hole diameter, Metris allows Laser Radar customers to reach accuracy and repeatability levels up to 30 times higher than before. Laser Radar’s innovative laser technology supports both automatic free-form surface measurement and feature detection/inspection without SMR or other targeting tools, inherently achieving higher inspection productivity.

Stricter quality requirements in aerospace industries increase the pressure on manufacturers and suppliers to further tighten feature tolerances. Correct positioning of features, such as riveting holes, is crucial in aircraft component assembly. With Laser Radar Driver 5.1, Metris optimized the capability of the system to inspect hole feature position and diameter in large-scale applications.

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(Hexagon Metrology: North Kingstown, Rhode Island) -- Hexagon Metrology (London, U.K.) has announced the acquisition of Technodigit SARL (Lyon, France), developer of 3DReshaper software, a software package designed for 3-D point cloud and 3-D mesh manipulation for reverse-engineering, rapid prototyping, product design, and industrial inspection. 3DReshaper brings powerful capabilities to the organization and manipulation of the millions of data points created with high-speed laser scanning systems such as Hexagon Metrology’s ScanShark laser probe, and the Leica T-Scan.   

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(Geomagic: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) -- Geomagic software has been selected by Team North American Eagle in its quest to set a new land speed record by reaching 800 mph. Project engineers will use Geomagic Studio software to digitally recreate the 56-foot-long Eagle vehicle for engineering analysis studies to obtain true performance characteristics.

“Geomagic is clearly the leader in digital shape sampling and processing (DSSP), and its software will give us the fastest path from scanning to surface models,” says Keith Zanghi, director of operations for North American Eagle. “The accurate surface models generated by Geomagic Studio will be critical for simulating the factors that will affect us during test runs.”

North American Eagle has used a FARO Technologies photon laser scanner to capture the Eagle vehicle as a point cloud model containing 30 million points. Geomagic Studio will be used to speed, automate, and simplify the workflow of transforming the scan data into a surfaced model. That model will be used to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite-element analysis (FEA) studies on the as-built vehicle.

Aside from the world-record challenge, Zanghi expects the North American Eagle project to yield valuable research insights in several important areas, including:

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(FARO Technologies Inc.: Lake Mary, Florida) -- FARO, the world leader in portable 3-D measurement and imaging technology, announced that it has won the Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award from the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT).

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) assembled a team to improve manufacturing methods for naval submarine tapers and carrier propulsion drive shafts.

The team consisted of the NCDMM, the Applied Research Laboratory of Penn State University, and FARO. The team’s solution included developing an advanced measurement system that dramatically reduced the in-process and final inspection stages for the shafts. FARO adapted the technology and software for the solution, which employed a FARO laser tracker that accurately mapped the entire surface of each taper while the shaft remained on the machine tool.

The solution reduced inspection time from 72 hours to 24 hours, for a 66-percent reduction over the previous method, and was easily transitioned to multiple shafts and shipyards. The project resulted in more consistent inspection processes, longer shaft life, elimination of costly gauge masters, and increased flexibility to accommodate design changes—all of which resulted in reduced run times and increased the shipyards cost savings up to $8 million.