Modern Machine Shop

JUL 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 98 of 147

MODERN MACHINE SHOP 97 BETTER PRODUCTION Automated Inspection Processes measurement results by ensuring that the inspection procedure does not miss any areas of a structure. One inspection method is infra- red thermography, which uses a precise f lash of light to create a pulse of heat. As the mate- rial cools, researchers analyze how the heat f lows through the part to reveal hidden defects and abnormal substructures without damaging the part. However, infrared inspection equip- ment is large and heavy, and it must be moved across the entire surface of the part inside and out to ensure a comprehensive inspec- tion. Manual inspections of large composite products, such as airplane fuselages, require multiple operators for extended time periods, adding cost and complexity. PROFILING PARTING SPECIAL TOOLING BORING DOVETAIL FACE GROOVING FORM TOOLING 888 - THINBIT • 888-THINFAX • THINBIT.COM Made in the U.S.A. Since 1964 To automate this process, the NASA Langley Research Center is testing a method that uses soft- ware from RoboDK to automate the programming of inspection patterns for two UR10 cobots from Universal Robots. Research- ers used the software to create a computer model of the part to be inspected, the inspection pattern and the movement of the inspection tool. The software has an application programming interface (API) that enables users to program robots using universal programming languages, such as Python, C#, C++, Matlab and Visual Basic. Once the inspection process is calibrated and the cobots are properly located with respect to the part, the cobots can follow a pre-pro- grammed path to move the inspection equip- ment into precise locations around the fuselage and hold the equipment in place as the opera- tor retrieves the data. The software can be customized with algo- rithms to automate some tasks, such as pro- jecting an inspection pattern onto a surface to Using robots means consistency and the ability to go back and do an inspection in exactly the same way in exactly the same spot with no human error.

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