Here at Power Flow Systems Inc., we are always pushing to use the most up to date technological tools to bring premium quality products at the best prices for our Customers. Now 3-D scanning technology is one of the essential tools Power Flow uses for research and development of new exhaust systems. Having such a powerful tool enables our qualified engineers to not only create a new exhaust for multiple aircraft in significantly less time, but with higher precision and accuracy. This translates not only to new products at lower cost, but better fitting and performing exhaust systems.
3D scanning works similarly to a traditional paper scanner or fax machine that scans a document to be input into a computer. 3D scanning, however, brings it to the next level and allows scans of 3 dimensional objects that can then be accurately displayed on a computer screen. These scans create a 3D image where Power Flow engineers can input exhaust systems modeled on the computer. The process allows our engineers to inspect for clearances of aircraft engine bays as well as improve design optimization in only a quarter of the time that it used to take. The results give an astonishing level of precision engineering!
If you are more the technical type and would like further explanation, read on…
The procedure starts with the aircraft itself. The aircraft must be prepped for multiple scans. These scans include the aircraft engine section with cowling on, aircraft with cowling off but with stock exhaust, without cowling and without exhaust, and finally cowling on without any exhaust. These aircraft configurations, once scanned into our computers, can be overlaid one on top of the other and allow for our prototype exhaust systems to be designed for proper clearances not only with the engine itself, but also with the cowling and any other accessories (alternator, air intake, etc.). This lets us see where improvements can be made in our initial design without having to go through a labor intensive, time consuming “trial and error” process.
The next part of the process involves the actual scanning of the aircraft. Using a mobile workstation, Power Flow uses an infrared scanner and scanning program to collect data that creates the 3D model. The infrared scanner plots a grid of infrared beams that map out the target object. Each beam figures a point distance from the reference point, in this case the scanner, and calculates a distance. It performs this for each beam in the plotted grid in real time. These points are then utilized to make a surface, or mesh, that makes up the scan of the object, in our case the engine bay.
After scans are completed, they are imported into our engineering computer and utilized in our Computer Aided Designs, or CAD, to be utilized as a reference for sizing of the Tuned Exhaust Systems we design and build here at Power Flow. This allows for designs to be developed and implemented not only much more quickly but also more accurately. It then allows our engineering department to create a working prototype exhaust system in less than a quarter of the time it would have taken using previous methods. Less R&D time with better fitting and a more optimized exhaust system deign is better for everyone – including you, the Customer!
Check out the video below to see all this in action!