Interview

Precision at all altitudes

As commercial aviation continues to grow, more and more engines need to be manufactured that meet the higher requirements for performance and fuel efficiency. For such safety-critical parts, flawless accuracy is a must. Together, GOM and ZEISS offer a rich portfolio of high-end metrology solutions for this industry. Aerospace manufacturers can now realize improved productivity while achieving the right level of precision for their measuring tasks.

Lee Griffiths (left) is responsible for aerospace business development at GOM.

Antonio Bernardo (right) is the Head of Aerospace Solutions at ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions.

What challenges do aero components like blades pose for industrial metrology?

Lee Griffiths: Airfoil products have unique free-form surfaces. All the efficiency and performance from these components come from their complex shapes, which push the boundaries of capability, theory, and design. A 0.1% improvement in efficiency over the lifetime of an engine is worth millions of dollars. Those are the marginal gains that we pursue with our measurement and inspection equipment.

Antonio Bernardo: Even a small blade can pose big metrology challenges. Our solutions enable our customers to gather data that mirror the full manufacturing process and get a better overview of what is happening in their production sites around the world, thus enhancing productivity in operations.

By one estimate, commercial aerospace will double every 15 years. How will this impact industrial metrology?

Lee Griffiths: Productivity levels will have to improve. Factory footprints can be quite fixed, so processes have to become smarter. We have been making good progress in developing hard- and software in order to improve productivity and efficiency - through better use of data, such as using 3D data to become more informed about a process, or to get greater connectivity between different manufacturing or inspection databases.

Antonio Bernardo: The aerospace industry will require a metrology characterized by a new dynamism in which quality, speed, and safety play a crucial and combined role. Components need to be tracked along their entire product life cycle, and this challenge will eventually create innovations in handling quality data.

What can our customers expect next from GOM and ZEISS?

Lee Griffiths: They can expect a customer-centric organization with aero application engineers and teams of experts around the world, close to our customers. We are constantly working to meet the challenges of our customers so they become more competitive with our unique portfolio.

Antonio Bernardo: The application - meant as the customer’s challenge - becomes the main driver of our common mission. Our portfolio and dedicated teams will enable us to guarantee trustable results at the right cost and at the right speed. Therefore, bringing precision at all altitudes is not just a motto; it’s our promise to the aerospace industry.

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