Delcam’s PowerINSPECT integrates inspection for aero-engine manufacturer
Standardising on Delcam’s PowerINSPECT program as its sole inspection software has helped Shenyang Liming Aero Engine (Group) Co. Ltd. to implement an enterprise-wide digital inspection platform and so improve the efficiency of its enterprise management systems as well as the quality and consistency of its production.
Founded in 1954 in Shenyang in North-east China, Shenyang Liming is a key part of China’s main aircraft producer, the AVIC organisation. The company manufactured the country’s first jet-propelled aircraft engine and is now one of the most experienced centres for aero-engine manufacture and repair in China. It employs more than 10,000 people.
Like many large organisations, Shenyang Liming uses a range of information systems to manage its manufacturing process, including software for product data management and engineering resource planning. An important part of these processes is obtaining quality-control data and integrating those results into the enterprise-wide systems.
The company found this challenging because it was using a variety of brands of co-ordinate-measuring machines, fitted with various different types of inspection software. The overall result was that the company’s inspection data was fragmented and did not integrate well with the existing information systems. This made it difficult to monitor product quality and, therefore, to identify any areas that needed improvement.
To overcome these problems, Shenyang Liming standardised on Delcam’s PowerINSPECT software, using a combination of PowerINSPECT OMV for on-machine verification on its machine tools and PowerINSPECT CNC for its computer-controlled CMMs. For each piece of equipment, PowerINSPECT has been customised to provide a dedicated inspection system for that machine. Parts are inspected using the appropriate techniques for surface and edge inspection, with comprehensive reports sent to the relevant departments through DNC links. Since many of the staff reading these reports are not metrology specialists, PowerINSPECT’s professional, easy-to-understand reporting is highly valued.
While the main benefit has been the ability to integrate the results seamlessly with its management systems, Shenyang Liming has found many other advantages from its move to PowerINSPECT. Firstly, the staff at the company have found the software easy to learn and easy to use. This has allowed training to be completed quickly. At the same time, the ability to simulate the complete machine environment and to undertake collision detection on the computer means that users can be confident that the programs they produce will perform efficiently and safely before they are passed to the machine.
Another important factor is PowerINSPECT’s ability to read all types of CAD data. This makes it easy for Shenyang Liming to receive design data from the many other manufacturing companies within AVIC.
Similarly, PowerINSPECT can produce programs that are compatible with many machine controllers so there is no need to change machine settings to undertake the inspections. The software’s offline programming supports I++ and DMIS standards, and offers many options for customisation for different types of inspection equipment.
The change to PowerINSPECT at Shenyang Liming has improved greatly the efficiency of its inspection processes and the management of all the results. As well as improving the company’s efficiency, the software has supported the drive by the company’s management to ensure the highest quality in all its products.