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Automatic FPI


Description:

The problem. FPI on aerospace vanes Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) is a nondestructive test method which is very effective in detecting porosity, cracks, fractures, laps, seams and other flaws that are open to the surface of the test piece and may be caused by fatigue, impact, quenching, machining, grinding, forging, bursts, shrinkage or overload. FPI is currently used at GKN Aerospace Norway (GAN) on lots of machined parts, in particular for stator vanes, and involves a several stages process where the part is cleaned and then dipped in a fluorescent penetrant bath. Then, the penetrant is removed and a developer (dry powder) is sprayed for pulling the trapped penetrant material out of surface defects and spread it out on the surface of the part so it can be seen by an inspector. After the inspection, the part is cleaned. Some of these operations have been partially automated during the years at GAN, and today the NDI workshop is equipped with a crane for loading parts and dipping them into the penetrant tubs; however, the last part of the process is still purely visual and relies on the skills of the operator. Due to the very high number of vanes produced at GAN every week (some thousands), the human factor becomes significative in this process, since inspectors cannot ensure long-term consistency in their evaluations due to fatigue, needing breaks and rest periods to ensure high quality output which are required when inspecting jet engines parts. Besides that, inconsistency is also observed between the outputs of different inspectors. These factors highly contribute to increase the cost of the process and to undermine its reliability. The project proposes to develop and test a vision-based system for automating the FPI process, including artificial intelligence based algorithms developed for training the automatic inspection system and confirm its evaluation by comparing them with the operators? output


Project leader: Davide Caputo

Started: 2017

Ends: 2017

Category: Næringsliv

Sector: Næringsliv

Budget: 90000

Institution: GKN AEROSPACE NORWAY AS

Address: Kongsberg