Lockheed Martin will verify F-35 production quality with Hexagon’s 3D Technology
25 August, 2015
Lockheed Martin to install the Israeli 3D White Light inspection system that will automatically test the quality of the many rivets in the F-35 stealth fighter's fuselage
Lockheed Martin to install the Israeli 3D White Light inspection system that will automatically test the quality of the many rivets in the F-35 stealth fighter’s fuselage
Hexagon Metrology from Ramat Hasharon, Israel will supply Lockheed Martin the optical inspection system to verify the quality of production during the building of its F-35 Lightning II fighter air frame. This week the company announced a $603 thousand order from Lockheed Martin to install a 3D White Light testing system that will automatically test the quality of the many rivets in the stealth fighter’s fuselage.
This technology was developed by the Israeli start-up company CogniTens, that was founded in 1995 by Prof. Amnon Shasua, also known a the founder of MobilEye. The company raised $7 million from investors to develop its unique concept. In 2007 it were sold to Hexagon Metrology Corporation, which measurement brands such as Leica Geosystems, Brown & Sharpe, Leitz and more. Today it is an independent business unit within Hexagon, under the CEO Dr. Nathan Persky.
The 3D White Light inspection technology utilizes three optical cameras, hardware system including robotic devices, and software that runs advanced algorithms. During the measurement process, the optical head projects random dots of blue light on the object under test. Two cameras capture the reflected light from those points and calculate the exact distance of each. The third camera take a monochromatic picture of the device under test, and the system combine all the information to create a CAD file which is compared to the original design (CAD) to get full analysis of all deviations from the original plan.
VP of marketing and sales, Aviel First , told Techtime that 3D White Light systems are common in the car industry and were installed in the production lines of car manufacturers such as GM, Toyota , Ford , Volvo , Harley Davidson and others. “The automotive industry requires precision level of approximately 100 microns. Our system offers 50 microns accuracy. The system achieves a complete measurement in less than 20 milliseconds, which gives it immunity from the vibrations typical to production environment.”
Today, Hexagon Metrology Israel consists of approximately 60 employees and is growing at an annual rate of 30% during the last four years. Its sales have reached several tens of $millions. “We are now developing a dedicated product for the aerospace industry, and began talking about it with Boeing and Airbus. We also plan to bring our 3D technology into new industries, such as Medical implants and the electronics packaging production lines.”