HANNOVER MESSE 2018, 23 - 27 April
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Industrie 4.0

Aircraft maintenance will control itself in the future

Researchers at Centrum Industrial IT (CIIT) want to work with project partners to develop a measurement method that enables automated quality control and repair site assessment for airplanes.

24 Jan. 2018
Dirk Bongardt
(Foto: Ametek GmbH - Division Creaform)

Procedures for repair and quality control have hitherto been complex and expensive in aeronautical technology. "Using algorithms and automated processes, we want to significantly improve the process of post-processing components made of fiber-reinforced composites," says Prof. Volker Lohweg of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences . For aviation and space technology, this field of research has barely been explored so far.

Modern aircraft are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). So far, damage has been detected with ultrasound and fixed with milling and gluing, explain the researchers. A new approach is now based on the use of laser technology and multi-sensor piezoelectric transducers. The project team wants to go even further and, together with partners from industry, develop a measurement method for the automation of quality control. When inserting patches, the scientists want to integrate sensors that detect via mechanical waves whether a repair site has been well or badly glued.

Elsewhere, work is also being done on state-of-the-art solutions for quality control in the aerospace industry. For example, Creaform has developed a robot-guided, optical 3D scanner for companies that allows them to test highly complex parts and structures without expanding them.