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SGS uses mobile metrology equipment to measure the geometrical properties of aircraft interiors. With laser tracker systems the experts are able to perform high precision measurements of aircrafts and components such as wing covers, flap shells, flap spars, stringers and pressure bulkheads. In addition, SGS provides regular independent inspections and training of aircraft staff. This article discusses Metrology - for when the aircraft industry needs to be sure of geometry.

Since the dawn of aviation, it has always been essential that aircraft components work and fit together properly. In earlier times, the requirements of interiors were mostly functional. However, in recent years the development of new and larger aircraft offers more space and the opportunity for designers to reflect lifestyle and luxury as never before. This provides more scope for a company to express its design ideas uniquely and more and more exciting ways for passengers to experience flying.

At the same time, the increase in scope has been accompanied by demands for more precision in the geometries of interiors. After all, an improved design is not enhanced when unexpected gaps appear between modules that not only spoil the visual impact, but can lead to problems during installation. That is why it has become ever more essential to verify, enhance and document the quality of interiors. Metrology helps by solving the accuracy of measurement among these challenges.

High-precision measurement of aircraft interiors

Metrology is the scientific high-precision checking of the geometrical properties of industrial components and assemblies. Depending on the size of devices, accuracies can be determined to within a few hundreds of a millimetre. Leading, independent testing institutes, such as SGS, use mobile metrology equipment. Measurements can thus be made where they are needed anywhere in the world, and often integrated into a production or assembly process. Mobile metrology sometimes makes quality controls possible where they were impossible before and can reduce time and cost. Automating measurement and analysis is the future of quality inspection – a process that metrology supports.

First align a laser tracker system, such as the Leica Absolute Tracker T-Probe, to the parts coordinate-system using the reference-drillings. This makes it possible to measure instantaneously every position on free-form surfaces and perform a nominal-actual comparison of every detail against the standard geometries of the CAD model. The T-Probe device helps in measuring even the hidden points. Resulting from the measurements an analysis of the part’s quality (accuracy) is given graphically with accompanying numerical values and statistics.

Benefits of mobile metrology

The benefits of mobile metrology include cost savings in equipment investment. This is especially relevant to users who are only occasionally requiring high-precision geometrical checks. A metrology service-provider can take care of those measurements which are not a part of your core business.

When certainty is needed, the timely intervention of metrology can exclude sources of error, deficiencies, and their associated costs. If your staff needs to acquire or further develop their skills with mobile 3D measurement technology, then in-house training by experienced technicians can save time and money. When support is needed to bridge short-term staff shortages, then a flexible metrology service may be ideal.

Laser Tracking and other Solutions for the aircraft industry

SGS provides expert metrology services based on an accumulated wealth of multi-disciplinary technical expertise. In the aviation industry, this includes developing analytical concepts for the metrology of Airbus aircraft A380, A400M and A350 and checking the geometries of a large number of components such as wing covers, flap shells, flap spars, stringers and pressure bulkheads. In addition, SGS provides regular independent inspections and training of Airbus staff.

For further information, please contact:

SGS Metrology / Aerospace Services
Winfried Bruns
Project Manager Metrology
Airbus-Straße 3
D-21684 Stade
Telefon +49 4141 9388 320