science, you can see from this boeing bulletin more details of how long the eddy current test(magnetic field test) for cracks is. Also now moving to 500 pressurizing cycles will take a very long time for maintenance. Wow, if FARO apps guys can design a test to do this quickly for these really high inspection rates (500 or some number under 30,000), all the airlines would be a very good volume customer until saturation at the airline maintenance locations were met. FARO apps engineers should check this out. Look how long this takes and how many maintenance techs are involved to do just the eddy current testing for cracks!!
"Richter adds examinations, which will look for disruptions in a magnetic field, indicating signatures for cracks in the base metal, will take roughly 8h per airframe with two mechanics in a maintenance environment, with another 8-16h to repair any cracks."
I was just now looking for current airplane crack, etc., inspection analysis techniques, and I found this blurb.
"Inspectors use something called eddy current technology, passing an electric current through an aircraft's skin to look for small cracks. If any warning signs are detected, more sophisticated ultrasound and X-ray tools are then used for a closer examination. In some areas, a plane's skin can be as thin as a nickel."
Any first year physics student knows about eddy currents. It appears to me inspections for these microcracks are not conducted very often, because it is inconvenient and time consumming. Not until the eddy currents do not look "right" do they bring out the ultrasound and the xray devices. It appears to me the test for cracks does NOT involve pressurizing the cabin of the plane!! If not, DUH.
This inspection sounds like it is begging for mass production that is fast that can be done much more regularly. This sounds like a FARO applications engineering problem to check out and see if FARO tools can make this a fast test that can be done often in more routine inspections. I am sure FARO has plenty of apps engineers in the factory and in the field that would love to take a look at this problem.
science_business, could FARO already have a laser device that could scan for these fuselage cracks in airplanes like Southwest had? If not, do you think some modification or use of the accordion fringe interferometer product could detect possible places for further inspection where cracks or other deformations may have occurred? If such a method could be done, it would automate the process and speed it up greatly (I assume).
science_business, that is a very extensive summary of the conference call. You posted so many important details that it seems I won't need to listen to the call. A lot of good stuff yet to come it appears. Thanks!