For 145 years, TLT-Turbo has striven to be the leading global supplier of mining, industrial and power ventilation products and solutions. The company’s radial and axial flow fans, wind tunnel fans and tunnel ventilation systems are used in thermal power stations around the world, for mine ventilation, steelmaking and processing, petrochemical industry, cement production and waste incineration, as well as tunnel ventilation, wind tunnels and test rigs. The TLT-Turbo Group currently employs around 500 staff, including about 400 in Germany.
The accurate measurement of individual components forms the basis for the reliable inspection and repair of large fans. The quicker and easier the measurement phase is to complete, the lower are the overall downtime and costs for the customer. Contactless analysis is ideal for minimizing stoppages and processing times without any deterioration in quality. Which is why the service team of the fan manufacturer, TLT-Turbo GmbH, has been using a mobile 3D scanner for third-party machine parts since June 2018. The portable unit allows them to measure assemblies with a circumference of up to 17m³ – with an accuracy of around 0.064 mm.
“We used to perform our analyses in a traditional way – using hand-held measuring devices or laser range finders – and more detailed results were generated in external test chambers,” explains Leif Heidingsfelder, Product Specialist at TLT-Turbo GmbH. “This not only took a long time, but also incurred additional costs – partly due to loss of communication with the various service providers.” However, a new solution not only had to meet TLT-Turbo’s stringent accuracy and reliability standards, it also required extra functions for integration into existing processes. For example, a portable device inside an aircraft was preferable, enabling stationary use in TLT’s service workshop in Bad Hersfeld as well as timely customer site visits. At the same time, the system should be vibration-resistant and deliver reliable results, regardless of the size of the component and/or installation.
“With this new, cutting-edge scanner, measured values are now available within a very short time and can be generated at any location,” says a satisfied Heidingsfelder. Reliability remains unaffected by black, multi-coloured or shiny surfaces. The device is compatible with all standard software solutions for reverse engineering, allowing CAD models to be created with no additional effort, based on the raw data collected. This in turn facilitates both continuous quality control during on-going production and the manufacture of spare parts for third-party fans, thereby guaranteeing consistent quality despite the process being accelerated. It is therefore possible for TLT-Turbo to reduce the overall downtime and costs for the customer. At the same time, the service team is much less dependent on location than before, meaning that appropriate actions can be taken quickly, even in emergencies.
“Modern technology offers fascinating opportunities – nevertheless, the relevance of expertise and practical experience should not be underestimated,” concludes Heidingsfelder. “A well-trained, mobile workforce continues to be essential for successful measurement.”
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