RPI UK has installed the first of two integrated rotor measurement and assembly platforms (iMAPs) at a major aero engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. The US based facility carry out MRO of major OEM engines in the United States.
Jim Palmer, RPI’s sales manager, said: “It’s great news that both the OEM and their approved MRO facilities, 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 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 the MRO facility 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 solve the mathematical problem of how to best assemble a multi-stage rotor 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.