Librestream supports Rolls-Royce with their Innovative Remote Boroblending Development Project:

Librestream is pleased to announce that Onsight is being used by Rolls-Royce and Nottingham University for advanced remote boroblending techniques for aircraft engines. These techniques will enable on-wing remote turbine blade inspection and servicing, without the need for expensive and complex engine removals. The Onsight collaborative platform integrates the robotic control systems as well as borescope visuals and point scanning data into a single platform for remote user boroblend tooling operations.

 

Highlights of the solution:

There is a substantial financial incentive for in-situ repair of industrial assets. However, the need for highly trained mechanics to travel to the location of a repair often results in inconveniently long downtimes. The emergence of robots capable of replicating human interventions on industrial equipment can be coupled with remote control strategies to reduce the response time from several days to a few hours.

This work outlines the design and remote control strategy for a novel robotic system to carry out repairs on aeroengine compressors in-situ via the internet. A high-level control computer serves as an interface with the skilled operator. A low-level controller receives instruction packets from the high-level controller via the internet and uses them to determine the necessary movements to carry out a machining operation. The robot, comprising a combination of rotary, prismatic and flexible (continuum) joints, was designed to replicate the degree of freedom of hand-held tools. Sensors and encoders on the robot enable the low-level controller to independently detect faults and stop all motion despite the high latency of internet communications.

The remote control system was tested by machining stress relief features on eleven compressor blades with a median RMS error of 0.064 mm between the desired and measured blends. A successful demonstration on a production aeroengine shows the capability.

(Source: Youtube Machining and Robotics Research Team Nottingham)