R & D Projects | Nikon Metrology
From 2016-02-01 to 2018-07-31
The overall goal of this project is to develop an integrated platform for a cost-effective manufacturing of aerospace composites. This will significantly reduce the production time and the production costs. The solution include laser scanning to measure and evaluate machined features (dimensions and location).
Partners: Flanders Make, KU Leuven, Uhasselt, Sirris, Asco Industries, Sabca, Maex Precision Production, Nikon Metrology Europe, LAB Motion Systems, Oerlikon Balzers
3-in-1 X-ray CT Inspection
From 2017-10-01 to 2019-03-31
The project will develop the world's first system (hardware and software) to integrate advanced NDT, dimensional inspection and high-fidelity surface topography extraction for complete post-build inspection. The platform will eliminate the need for other hardware (2D X-ray, optical scanners, surface profilometers, cut-up etc.) and so reduce the inspection cost per part. Within the project, the data obtained by the 3in1XCT platform will be exploited to provide feedback to digital tools for design and process modelling. This will be the first implementation of direct feedback (real-time within the product development loop) from XCT to design, with the expectation that this could halve the number of design-build iterations during the AM product development cycle. Fully automated workflows for both 3-in-1 inspection and for feedback to the design tools will be developed, eliminating the effort needed from experts in 3D image processing.
The system will be tested using complex, real world examples provided by the end-users in the project. The project has representation from automotive, aerospace, space, defense and power generation- all high value, highly regulated sectors for which the high costs of product qualification and inspection creates a barrier to the adoption of AM technology.
Partners: The project is led by X-TEK Systems Ltd, a Nikon Metrology company. Other partners include University of Huddersfield, Synopsys (Northern Europe) Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd and Hieta Technologies Ltd.
From 2013-10-01 to 2017-09-30
The non-destructive quality control of a wide variety of high-added value products, produced by innovative manufacturing techniques, remains a challenge. Examples include additive manufacturing parts, micro parts, and fiber reinforced composite parts. Common to these workpieces is the dependency of their performance on internal and inaccessible elements. Nevertheless, customers in multiple sectors are requesting certified quality and reliability.
For the last few years industrial Computed Tomography (CT) has been regarded as a promising technology, which can evolve towards integrated quality control of complex workpieces combining dimensional metrology and material defect analysis. However, major challenges remain in order to exploit its full potential. Meeting these requires a broad range of expertise, including physics, dimensional metrology, non-destructive testing, material sciences, precision engineering, and manufacturing engineering. Due to the distinct interdisciplinary character, there is a strong need for young researchers with a broad range of competences to achieve the envisaged innovation breakthrough in the EU industry.
The INTERAQCT project has been conceived as a pan-European industrial-academic initiative that will provide the unique and encompassing training environment required, by bringing together expertise from industry and academia in each of these domains (CT-equipment, CT-software, NDT, dimensional metrology, additive manufacturing, micro-manufacturing, composite manufacturing).
The research will develop procedures for fast and accurate CT model acquisition, with special emphasis on multi-material parts. Furthermore, INTERAQCT targets quantification and improvement of the reliability of CT measurement results, by determining the probability of detection of material defects as well as by achieving metrological traceability. In addition, CT based quality improvement loops will be targeted for key emerging manufacturing technologies.
The project is coordinated by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Mechanical Engineering Department. X-TEK Systems Ltd, a Nikon Metrology company, is one of the industrial partners. Other partners include Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits - IIS, University of Applied Science Upper Austria, Research Group Computed Tomography, Universita Degli Studi di Padova, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, RWTH Aachen, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering – WZL, Volume Graphics GMBH, Materialise NV, Physikaltisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB, and National Physical Laboratory - NPL, U.K. The associated partners are LayerWise, Novo Nordisk A/S, Borealis Polyolefine GMBH, Eltek S.P.A., Argon Measuring Solutions, Nuovo Pignone S.R.L. and Kiekert AG.