To illustrate the utility of the concept, he cites a NASA example using their Digital Tooling to mate the adapter fi tting between the Orion space capsule and the Delta IV rocket for an upcoming test launch. The Orion diameter is 18' (5.5 m) while the Delta IV rocket is 16' (4.9 m), requiring an inverted cone to make the rocket usable. “We are using the ATOS system in lieu of hard tooling by scan- ning the parts in process, after each manufacturing step, and using that data to draw the toolpath defi nition for the robotic weld tools,” he explained. “We saved them at least a million dollars by eliminating the need for hard tooling, not to mention that this was a test fl ight and only one part was needed.” Another example is a Digital Tool system that mates the joint between the hydrogen and oxygen dome tanks on the Ares rocket’s upper stage. He notes the print fi t-up tolerance for that was 0.010" [0.25], requiring a measuring accuracy of about 0.005" (0.13 mm) over an 18'
Getting data from a CMM is one thing. Trusting it to gather the right information and help make sense of it all is another. Maybe that’s why so many manufacturers have our systems as a critical part of their production process.
diameter. The ATOS scans the 18' diameter dome in about 45 minutes. “We have delivered Digital Tooling now in dozens of applications, from building one-of-a-kind to seeing it used to build hundreds of parts per month,” stated Black. ME
The moment you realize that new requirements do not require new equipment. This is the moment we work for.