MRO Surface Defects Inspection

MRO Surface Defects Inspection

NDT surface inspection for aerospace MRO

Time and scanned area sizes are important features that allow aerospace manufacturers to choose the right tools for surface detection on aircraft. For Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO), visual inspection and pit gauges are the industry standard today to non-destructively scan surfaces for dents, wrinkles on composites, and fasteners flush checks. However in this industry time is money, and the longer a plane is grounded for repairs, the more time and revenue is lost. Today accurate 3D sensors are available to perform quick and precise inspections on aircraft during scheduled maintenance to assess damage from a hail storm or impact.

ZEISS has developed the tools for quick and easy inspection and categorization of dents, defects, and gaps. Providing hundreds of thousands of 3D points, automated ATOS Scanners, and Portable Handheld Scanners are the perfect tools for the MRO industry. Used by Airbus, Boeing, the FAA, and most major Aerospace OEMs, ZEISS tools are compliant with NADCAP standards and represent the gold standard for inspection systems in the industry.

NDT solutions

For every type of condition, defect, or application ZEISS offers non-destructive testing (NDT) solutions to maximize dent detection before it becomes critical. Complete integration in the ZEISS INSPECT software makes these systems easy to use and the measuring process incredibly streamlined. Systems such as the flexible and robust ATOS Compact Scan, the innovative ATOS 5, the versatile ScanBox Series, and more are key to a streamlined surface inspection process.

ATOS Compact Scan

Thanks to a scalable measuring area, integrated scanning, and tracking functionality, the ATOS Compact Scan adapts ideally to the challenges of measuring surface defects. This mobile scanner can be deployed across different measuring areas while digitizing and analyzing data points in a matter of minutes. Combining the iconic features of ATOS technology into a compact package, this sensor ensures ultimate adaptability for various applications, part sizes, and environments. Its size allows it to be used almost anywhere-- within the hangar, or at the line for example. Using its scanning capabilities, creating a digital twin allows MRO teams to reverse engineer components when a CAD model isn’t available. Adaptable, portable, user-friendly-- the ATOS Compact Scan utilizes rapid high-resolution 3D data collection to uncover surface defects in any environment.


The ATOS 5 delivers high-precision data in a quick measuring time even under harsh conditions, making it ideal for analyzing damage caused by weather patterns or Ground Support Equipment (GSE). The enhanced measuring volumes combined with high resolution cameras result in fewer measurements, allowing it to capture large measuring areas without sacrificing quality or accuracy. The full-field 3D measuring data allows comprehensive process and quality control by visualizing hidden errors, thus speeding up MRO processes and reducing the downtime for an aircraft. This scanner can even be optimized for different component sizes. Its data quality is displayed in precise detail of 3D models revealing dents, cracks, flush and gaps, wrinkles on composites, and many other potential defects. With 0.2 seconds per scan, the ATOS 5 exceeds industry expectations for speed and quality data acquisition for surface defects.

ScanBox Series 6 & 7

The ScanBox encompasses two-in-one solutions for non-destructive inspection of surface defects. Fully automated and operator-independent, these systems are extremely versatile as they are equipped with a large field of view and customizable measurement options for full-surface component analysis.

They include an intuitive user interface that produces repeatable results, regardless of operator expertise. Both models allow MRO teams to detect and measure defects rapidly and with high detail resolution while integrating real-time 3D visualization through ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil. Whether it’s equipped with the powerfully bright ATOS 5X or the high-resolution ATOS 5, ATOS ScanBox systems offer OEM-approved solutions that simplify MRO inspection processes at faster rates and higher returns on investment.

Streamlined inspection software

ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil is a premier inspection software that can be utilized to detect and analyze various aircraft surface defects. Alongside surface defect capabilities, the software also manages quality control and provides superior data to aid reverse engineering processes. Among its standard features, the software includes a dedicated workflow to identify dents and generate reports automatically, creating a simplified and streamlined process. Whether you’re an expert or a novice operator, this solution delivers repeatable results with its software through its easy-to-use workflow and step-by-step education process.

  • ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil can use custom OEM guidelines to detect defects
  • Utilizes augmented reality (AR) to superimpose inspection results directly onto real objects (using a tablet), therefore visualizing surface defects on a plane in real-time
  • Reports generate automatically to save time and training resources with ZEISS INSPECT Airfoil
  • Guided workflows take you from data acquisition to full-blown measurement reports within minutes
  • Identification of dents, 3D visualization of damaged areas, and defect colormaps come standard with the software to maximize efficiency and create simplicity.


Hail damage

Hailstorms are very unpredictable weather patterns, as well as the most damaging to aircraft. MRO teams need to quickly and accurately evaluate the impact damage to reduce downtime and increase ROI from repairs. ZEISS solutions combine full-field data with robust versatility to capture data in most condition while maintaining global accuracy.

Scheduled maintenance

All aircraft need continuous inspections to make sure they are safe and airworthy. MRO teams need a solution in order to verify if specific components are within acceptable ranges from the FAA that make the aircraft fit to fly. ZEISS technology provides intuitive software and solutions that allow teams to create customized reports, report results in real-time, and even reverse engineer components when CAD models are missing.

Ground support equipment (GSE) impact

Potential aircraft damage doesn’t just occur while in flight; ground support equipment (GSE) can take a toll on an aircraft’s exterior surface before it even takes off. Inspection crews have to assess the damage that occurs such as dents, defects, and cracks caused by gangways, service stairs, and even cargo dollies. With the help of ZEISS technology, MRO teams can analyze and identify various surface defects without sacrificing time, accuracy, or efficiency.


Surface defects on aircraft can lead to the failure of features or equipment on board. It’s vital to catch these defects before they reach a critical size. 3D scanning has been proven to help MRO teams troubleshoot errors in the repair process quickly and efficiently. ZEISS software and systems provide full-field data that allow MRO teams to gain in-depth information about the condition of components, reveal errors in their processes, and reduce costs and downtime with early detection of defects.

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