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Empowering the QA Technician with Intuitive 3D Optical Inspection Tools

P. BÖTTCHER, E. KLAAS, A. CHHABRA

Abstract


3D optical measurement tools are valuable for Structural Health Monitoring since they allow non-contact and precise analysis of the surface structure of an object. Traditionally these inspection tools always suffered the following challenges – (1) the long-learning curve necessary for a technician to master the effective operation of a tool (2) the time required for the operator to interpret measurement data, and (3) accessibility of the object of interest. This paper highlights how a focus on solving specific and chronic problems drives efficiency gains for measurement analysis; how implementing lessons from usability engineering and device response-times enables a more seamless, more productive and more enjoyable customer experience; and finally, how the use of augmented reality (AR) techniques makes measurement equipment easier-to-use. The 8tree® family of application-specific 3D scanners will be referenced to showcase a practical implementation of the aforementioned features. The relevance of this approach to both automated and operator-based vision equipment will be discussed in the context of quality inspection in Aerospace manufacturing, Aerospace maintenance and Oil & Gas industries. Ease-of-use also extends to the manipulation of the unit by the operator, in a way which is comfortable, convenient and safe, in particular when the object is too large to be brought to the measurement equipment. The challenge is to provide a portable unit that doesn’t compromise accuracy and precision. Applying usability engineering has a positive impact not only on efficiency but also on quality and repeatability of results. The effectiveness of this approach will be shown with data gathered in Gage R&R [1] analysis. The results show that the influence of the operator can be kept small even for a complex metrology instrument. The integration of the methods described above is illustrated in 3 case studies for measuring fastener flushness, dents and surface alignment.

doi: 10.12783/SHM2015/258


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