Delta Airlines installs two RPI turbine rotor assembly systems

RPI UK has installed two integrated rotor measurement and assembly platforms (iMAPs) at Delta Airlines; the Rolls-Royce approved MRO facility.

RPI is the world’s leading specialist developer and manufacturer of precision positioning devices for high accuracy rotary and angular inspection systems. The Atlanta-based Delta Airlines facility carry out maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of all Rolls-Royce Trent engines in the United States.

In addition to the iMAPs, RPI has also supplied Delta with Trent series 03 and 04 module tooling sets significantly reducing set up times and helping to improve the overall performance of the measurement process.

Jim Palmer, RPI’s sales manager, said: “We’ve been working with Rolls-Royce for over 30 years so it’s great news that both Rolls-Royce and Delta – their approved MRO facility, are choosing to invest in iMAP which has been independently verified to give significant operational improvements over traditional measurement methods.”

“With world-class accuracy, our iMAP machine achieves higher levels of quality while helping our customers save money and resources. This is achieved by significantly reducing inspection times and the need for costly rotor teardowns due to inefficient rotor assembly optimisation.”

RPI’s iMAP is proven to reduce inspection times by 90% and improve gauge repeatability and reproducibility by up to 10 times. The technology is used by Delta after the engines are dismantled, to inspect each individual section of the engine for cracks, wear and distortion. Measurements are taken by AccuScan to check the components geometry meet their original and regional board specifications as part of the stringent MRO process.

Once the components have been approved, repaired or replaced, the iMAP is used for engine assembly to ensure alignment and concentricity is correct and balanced as each section is rebuilt.

iMAP’s data acquisition software AccuScan enables measurement of up to 4,000 data points on up to eight surfaces simultaneously per revolution, thereby reducing process times to just two minutes; a significant time saving compared with other available methods.

This significantly improved inspection data is then used by the Rotor Stacking software to optimise the assembly of each component relevant to its neighbour to achieve minimum runout or unbalance of the finished rotor. This technology is absolutely fundamental to ensure the operational quality of the engine entering back into service, for optimal reduction in vibration, greater fuel efficiency and longer service intervals.

Specifically designed to inspect large and heavy components, RPI’s iMAP machines are fully compatible with any shop floor environment whilst maintaining world class accuracies more commonly seen in the standards laboratory.

Combining a motorised high precision air bearing rotary axis, rigid column unit, anti-vibration granite base and AccuScan multi-channel circular geometry inspection software, IMAP is the definitive system for productivity improvement in turbine rotor assembly.

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