XIM: X-Ray Inspection Module for Automatic High Speed Inspection of Turbine Blades and Automated Flaw Detection and Classification

Oliver, D.
Brown, J.
Cueman, K.
Czechowski, J.
Eberhard, J.
Eng, J.
Joynson, R.
Keaveney, J.
Koegl, R.
Miller, R.
Silverstein, K.
Thumhart, L.
Trzaskos, R.
Kincaid, T.
Scudder, H.
Wojciechowski, C.
Howington, L.
Ingram, D.
Isaacs, R.
Meyer, L.
Portaz, J.
Schuler, J.
Sostarich, J.
Steele, D.
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Under military manufacturing technology funding, a production prototype X-ray Inspection Module (XIM) has been established at General Electric Corporate Research and Development (GE-CRD) and delivered to Quality Technology (QT), General Electric Aircraft Engine Business Group (GE-AEBG). A company funded production unit has been built by GE-AEBG and delivered to the GE-AEBG manufacturing facility in Madisonville, Kentucky where it is in use in production. Computerized tomography (CT) and digital fluoroscopy (DF) images are produced with the system. The CT images provide an image cross-section, and the DF images are much like chest X-rays.The system was designed to automatically inspect and analyze flaws present in turbine blades. It was applied to two flaw types; each type in a different turbine blade. The image processing is performed on complex gray scale images with varying background. The XIM system may be used either automatically or in a manual mode with a trained operator to interpret the images and make quality decisions.