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Turbine Blade Inspection

Next-generation optical metrology solutions for turbine blades

Turbine blades, the foundation of modern aero engines, are a testament to the complexity of engineering. They transform expanding hot gases into torque, power, and thrust, with a single civil HP blade capable of generating ten times more power than a small family car. These blades, operating under extreme temperatures and pressure, require precision in their construction, perfection in their design, and rigorous inspection. This process, akin to trying to stop an ice cube from melting in a 200°C oven, underscores the importance of every detail in enhancing the engine's performance, efficiency, and service life.

Our solution

Our solution

ATOS sensors are the powerful, innovative solutions that the turbine blade industry trusts to increase throughput, reduce time-to-market, and do it right the first time on accelerated new engine programs. Given their ability to achieve high-speed, accurate measurements and inspections, the software/hardware combination of the ATOS technology ensures the quality of the turbine blades in every aspect, including:

  • Measurement of castings, accuracy, and airfoil features.
  • Wax/ceramic core measurement with X-Ray.
  • Used in adaptive machining for airfoil profiling, optimizing shape and edge geometries to meet demanding efficiency targets.
  • Repair activities.
  • Coating of the airfoil and tip shroud features.
  • Measurement for first article inspection.

Design and composition

Turbine blades are constantly evolving, with designs aimed at achieving superior performance, extended lifespan, and enhanced fuel efficiency. This evolution has led to increasingly intricate designs that pose a challenge for measurement, as they incorporate novel geometries and various composites and castings. The impact of blade design and material on engine performance and strength underscores the necessity for high-precision accuracy. Even minor inaccuracies can lead to energy conversion loss and, ultimately, blade failure. Non-destructive measurement of areas such as airfoil cross-sections, alignment, blade profiles, trailing edge radii, and root forms is daunting for traditional measuring methods.

ATOS 5 for Airfoil

ATOS 5 is our advanced technology for measuring complex airfoil geometries, specifically the trailing-edge geometries produced in the investment casting process. This technology is exclusively developed for the industry and is particularly useful in measuring small geometries in modern aero engines.


Coupled with ZEISS INSPECT software, our systems provide digital assembly capabilities to help analyze the performance of casting dies in relation to shrinkages and finished cast products in manufacture or the throat area in blade assemblies. Within minutes, the ATOS technology provides you with surface comparisons, form and position checks and precise blade measurements. This software and hardware duo delivers the ideal solution for higher accuracy and higher throughput for turbine inspection.

  • ATOS 5 for Airfoil


In today's market, there is a growing demand for higher speeds, increased throughput, reduced timescales, and smaller tolerances. This puts immense pressure on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to improve their production programs. To keep up with the continuous stream of demand for turbine blades, they have started using 3D optical metrology solutions. These solutions not only improve productivity but also decrease inspection times.

ATOS technology is the perfect solution for the high-volume aero manufacturer. Our sensors are the trusted product by OEMs and supply chain companies to optimize geometries, decrease inspection time and increase precision within their manufacturing processes. ATOS systems deliver increased productivity from initial scans to final inspection with approximately three-minute cycles at the highest resolution.

ScanBox Series 5 RC complements manufacturer needs by using automated technology to measure the hundreds of thousands of parts required each year, while ZEISS INSPECT includes industry-leading measuring and inspection functionalities for airfoil geometries.

From casting measurements to airfoil coating thicknesses, this high-precision hardware and software combination is the production manager's and engineer's first choice for turbine blade measurement.

Repair and overhaul

Turbine blades are designed to last 35,000 hours, approximately equivalent to 15 million nautical miles, before requiring repairs or overhauls. However, when the time comes for repairs, it is one of the most significant cost factors that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) face in terms of money and time. They require technology that can uncover hidden errors, anticipate structural failures, and quickly highlight imperfections to get the blades back into rotation and lengthen the lifespan of the turbine engine.

With its unparalleled precision, ATOS technology not only aids in wear and tear analysis but also significantly reduces the cost of repair jobs. It digitally measures damaged/repaired surfaces and verifies material deposition. This allows ZEISS customers to create a digital twin that confirms the condition of the blades for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), stress, and reliability. By closing the performance analysis loop, ATOS technology provides detailed insights and predictions about turbine blade inspections, leading to reduced downtime for repair jobs and extended lifespan of turbine blades. This cost-effective solution can be a game-changer for OEMs.

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