Rolls-Royce assembles engine turbine rotors aided by RPI iMAP measurement platforms

1 min read

​RPI UK has supplied five integrated measurement assembly platforms (iMAPs) to Rolls-Royce and its approved MRO facilities that will reduce inspection times and support high accuracy assembly operations.

RPI’s iMAP, which is proven to reduce inspection times by 90% and improve gauge repeatability and reproducibility by up to 10 times, will be used by Rolls-Royce to measure and assemble engine turbine rotors at its sites in Derby and Germany. Atlanta-based Delta Airlines, who carry out maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine have also purchased a RPI iMAP machine - the first one sold to a Rolls Royce approved MRO facility.

RPI describes itself as the world’s leading specialist developer and manufacturer of precision positioning devices for high accuracy rotary and angular inspection systems, and Jim Palmer, the firm’s sales manager, said: “We've been working with Rolls-Royce for over 30 years, so its great news that both Rolls-Royce, and their approved MRO facilities, are choosing to invest in IMAP, which has been independently verified to give significant operational improvements over traditional measurement methods.

“With world-class accuracy, our iMAP machine achieve higher levels of quality by helping our customers understanding of their machining process capabilities, as well as saving money and resources by significantly reducing inspection times and the need for costly rotor teardowns due to inefficient rotor assembly optimisation.”

iMAP’s data acquisition software, AccuScan, enables manufacturers to measure up to 4,000 data points on up to eight surfaces simultaneously per revolution, thereby significantly reducing process times, compared with other available methods.

This significantly improved inspection data is then used by IntelliStack, iMAP’s Rotor Stacking Program, to solve the mathematical problem of how to best assemble a multi-stage rotor assembly to achieve minimum runout or unbalance of the finished rotor.

Specifically designed to inspect large and heavy components, RPI’s iMAP machines are fully compatible with any shopfloor environment but maintain world-class accuracies more commonly seen in standards laboratories.

Combining a motorised high precision air bearing rotary axis, rigid column unit, anti-vibration granite base and AccuScan multi-channel circular geometry inspection software, IMAP is said to be the definitive system for productivity improvement in turbine rotor assembly.