Using Technology to Overcome Aerospace Backlog

In a report on the 2019 outlook for the globalaerospace and defense industry, Deloitte estimates the backlog stands at around 14 000 aircrafts. To put this figure in context, the consultancy expects the industry to produce approximately
38 000 aircrafts globally over the next 20 years.

To reduce the backlog and meet their customers’ demands, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aerospace part suppliers need to increase production rates. But that is easier said than done, which is whyDeloitte recommends several courses of action, including the use of advanced technologies to enhance productivity and efficiency.

HP-O’s scanning technology for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) is an example of how HexagonManufacturing Intelligence’s advanced technology helps aerospace manufacturers significantly reduce measurement cycle time and work through backlogs more quickly, while maintaining the industry’s precision requirements.

HP-O uses our advanced frequency-modulated interferometric optical distance measurement technology to enable manufacturers to increase productivity by measuring more parts in less time and just as accurately as with a traditional tactile approach. HP-O Sensors are particularly well adapted to measuring complicated geometries on rotationally symmetrical parts and since the measurement is non-contact it leaves no marks on highly reflective parts.

Hexagon’s HTA Solutions based on HP-O optical sensor technology are ideal for several demanding applications in the aerospace industry, including the measurement of aero engine components such as blisks, compressor blades, vanes and fan blades.

Because a blisk isa single, integrally manufactured part with a long machining cycle, it’s important to perform quality controls quickly during the manufacturing process to identify potential errors and avoid wasting materials and production time. Notonly is HP-O fast, it is optimised for metallic surfaces and its small diameter means it can access full airfoil surface on each individual blade of a blisk, even when spacing is tight between airfoils.

By combining a highly accurate CMM and interferometric and variable high-speed scanning (VHSS) technologies with dedicated metrology software, aerospace manufacturers can markedly decrease cycle times.

Watch our video to discover how Hexagon’s GLOBAL S HTA, based on HP-O Multi optical sensor technology, brings together high speed and high accuracy to help compressor blade manufacturers remove the quality bottleneck and fulfil customer demand.

Find out more about overcoming the challenges of blade inspection in my article in Advanced Manufacturing.


  • Ken Frescoln

    Ken Frescoln has been with Hexagon since 2008, working in a variety of sales and business development areas, and he is currently the Commercial Operations Manager in the Ohio Valley Region. He also serves as the Strategic Account Manager for Hexagon’s Medical business in North America. Prior to Hexagon, Ken worked as an automotive engineer after getting his Master’s Degree in Engineering.

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