Reverse Engineering sponsored by GeoMagic

Power Surge

07 February 2011

E.ON UK’s power engineering services department repairs and replaces turbine blades. By using Faro equipment the engineering team has made vast improvements in terms of accuracy, efficiency and measurement speed

E.ON UK is one of the UK’s leading integrated power and gas companies.

Ben Pulley, technical services development engineer at Power Engineering Services pictured re-inspecting a repaired part against the CAD model

Part of the global E.ON group, the UK division is the second largest electricity generator in the country, generating and distributing electricity and retailing power and gas.

At E.ON UK’s Hams Hall plant the power engineering services department is responsible for the repair and replacement of turbine blades, crucial components of the electricity generation process.

Traditionally E.ON engineers used dental putty to measure parts that required repair or replacement. Once a mould had been taken of the part, the arduous task of measurement began. This process took
a great deal of time and was subject to a number of inaccuracies and human error. In addition, the data produced could not be used in a CAD package.

In a move to streamline this process, the department recently invested in a FaroArm Quantum in combination with a Laser Line Probe (FARO Laser ScanArm).

This has enabled its engineers to inspect its turbine parts in situ and reverse engineer repairs. Once scanned, the electronic data can easily be entered into E.ON UK’s Catia CAD package. The repaired part is then machined using a CAD/CAM facility and re-inspected against the CAD model by the Laser Line Probe.

The FaroArm Quantum and Laser Line Probe have made a tremendous difference at the Hams Hall plant. Reverse engineering using the FARO products is a much faster and more accurate process, with human error removed.

Repairs can now quickly be carried out in situ within the machine shop and then inspected as part of the process. Measurements are traceable, the products are easy to use and repeatability, not feasible with the previous system, is now possible.

“The FaroArm and Laser Line Probe have revolutionised the way in which we repair and replace our turbine blades,” explains Robert Watson, Technical Services Engineer at Power Engineering Services in Birmingham.

“The whole process is now approximately 75% faster, and vast improvements have been made in terms of accuracy. Working with FARO has enabled us to operate far more efficiently, which provides substantial benefits to the entire plant.”

Due to the positive experiences of the Hams Hall team, E.ON UK now plans to buy more units of the FaroArm Quantum and Laser Line Probe to put in its repair vans. The Faro products can then be taken to various E.ON UK sites to help improve accuracy and efficiency of repairs at all E.ON UK plants.
www.faro.com

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