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Phase Vision helps Tower Tool scale the heights in aerospace application

State-of-the-art white light scanning equipment from Leicestershire-based Phase Vision has helped drastically save cost and time in the reverse engineering of a key aerospace component.

Tower Tool Company Ltd, also based in Leicestershire is a specialist engineering toolmaker which was commissioned by Meggitt Polymer Solutions to reverse engineer a new tool to produce a component for a helicopter from a CAD model of the component.

Once the tool was designed, Tower Tool were keen to verify its accuracy against the existing CAD model. Key to this was developing a highly accurate representation of the new tool, for which Tower Tool investigated a number of methods. The use of a co-ordinate measurement machines (CMM) was discounted because of the inability of CMMs to measure more than one point at a time, meaning it would have taken days or even weeks to develop an accurate CAD representation.

Laser scanning also considered and while speed was not an issue, there were concerns over the accuracy of the results produced.

However, by employing the Phase Vision Quartz range of white light scanners, speed and accuracy were combined, delivering a set of readings within a few minutes which created a highly accurate CAD model of the new tool to be produced. An inspection report was then produced to show compliance to the requirements of the original CAD representation.

Myles Ball of Tower Tool commented: "While the cost of the component was not enormous – about £500 – accuracy was key as it was to be used in a state-of-the-art aerospace application. We couldn't afford to wait for accurate readings from a CMM and weren't convinced by laser scanning either – but the Phase Vision equipment delivered on both speed and accuracy and allowed us to prove that our new tool was in line with the CAD requirements.

Ralph Weir of Phase Vision added: "This applications shows clearly the advantages of white light scanning over other measurement techniques, particularly when speed is of the essence and accuracy cannot be compromised either."

Press release issued by on August 6, 2010


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