Pratt & Whitney has stepped up from its Connected Factory pilot program launched last year to introduce the Intelligent Factory strategy, using artificial intelligence (AI), robotic, automation and additive manufacturing technologies.
Singapore-based blade and vane repair specialist, Turbine Overhaul Services, developed the first fully automated ultrasonic measurement system in Pratt and Whitney’s global operations, introducing an advanced robotic inspection of airfoil wall thickness to produce fast and reliable inspections, helping to free up inspector hours to perform more critical visual inspection tasks.
The industry’s first powder titanium turbine blades with titanium powder cladding using automated fibre optic has also been introduced by Turbine Overhaul Services.
While laser cladding is a known technology in the aerospace sector, this newly developed process for the industry can adjust to incoming repair blades variation to enable predictable and dimensionally consistent build up that helps downstream process automation.
This allows zero welding rework during repair, replacing the hot process of welding with a cool laser cladding process.
Turbine Overhaul Services has also integrated an AI-based proprietary Piece Part Inspection (PPI) technology that reduced turnaround time for crucial visual inspections of its PW2000, PW4000 and V2500 engines designed to improve quality and repeatability.
Component Aerospace Singapore also introduced an automated fixture system using 12-armed robots to replace manual fixtures for tube repair, which is another first in the industry, while
Pratt & Whitney Component Solutions is adopting a fully automated robotic loading process that incorporates a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine together with a Collaborative Robot (COBOT), enabling 24/7 operations without human supervision.
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