3D Model-Based Large-Volume Metrology Supporting Smart Manufacturing and Digital Twin Concepts

R. P. Lindqvist, D. Strand, M. Nilsson, V. Collins, J. Torstensson, J. Kressin, D. Spensieri, A. Archenti. Metrology. 2023; 3(1):29-64. January 18, 2023.


New automated laser radar measurement systems at the Saab Inc. West Lafayette, USA, facility will make airframe assembly of the aft body for the new eT7-A aircraft a quicker, more cost-efficient process. Digital twin concepts realized through simulation and off-line programming show advantageous results when studying future state scenarios or investigating how a current large-volume dimensional metrology system acts and behaves. The aim of this exploration has been to examine how to facilitate the design and programming of automated laser radar concepts by means of novel simulation-based software. High-speed computing algorithms efficiently solve tasks and sequence problems related to many statistical combinatorial possibilities in calculations. However, this approach requires accurate and reliable models and digital twins that are continuously updated with real world data and information. In this paper, the main contributions are to create procedures to define the dimensional metrology workflow at Saab and to model and simulate the laser radar process, enhancing and tailoring existing offline programming software by specific new functionalities. A case study conducted at Saab Aeronautics premises in Linköping acted as a clinical laboratory to generate our research findings. The exploratory work indicates that a reliable simulation-based development method can be used advantageously in the early-stage design layout of automated dimensional metrology systems to verify and guarantee the line-of-sight of, e.g., a laser light path and its allowed inclinations to a specific geometrical feature to be measured, extracted, and evaluated.

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