Enhancing Windmill Rotor Manufacturing Inspections with API’s Dynamic 9D LADAR 

18 March 2024 · 2 min read

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The wind energy industry is rapidly expanding, and with it comes the need for efficient and accurate manufacturing processes for windmill rotor components. Inspections play a vital role in ensuring the quality and performance of these components. API’s Dynamic 9D LADAR (LAser Detection And Ranging) technology offers a revolutionary solution that can significantly improve the speed, accuracy, efficiency, and safety of windmill rotor manufacturing inspections. Dynamic 9D LADAR can be utilized at various stages of the manufacturing process, from mold verification to flange hole inspection to final assembly inspection, to bring non-contact scanning speed with Laser Tracker accuracy to improve throughput and reduce manhours. 

Mold Verification 

In windmill rotor manufacturing, molds are used to shape composite materials. Verifying the accuracy of these molds is crucial for ensuring the correct shape and dimensions of the rotor blades. Dynamic 9D LADAR can quickly and accurately scan the mold surface from a rail or moving gantry, capturing precise measurements and comparing them to the design specifications. This eliminates the need for manual measurements, reduces human error, and speeds up the verification process, ultimately improving the overall efficiency of mold validation. 

Flange Hole Inspection 

Flange hole inspection is a critical step in windmill rotor manufacturing, as it involves ensuring the alignment and integrity of the bolt holes in the rotor hub. With Dynamic 9D LADAR, this inspection becomes faster, more accurate, and safer. The non-contact scanning capability allows for rapid data capture of the flange surface, detecting any deviations or misalignments in the hole positions. This technology significantly reduces inspection time, enhances accuracy, and eliminates the need for physical contact, minimizing the risk of damage to the delicate rotor components. 

Final Assembly Inspection 

During the final assembly of windmill rotors, it is essential to verify the correct positioning and alignment of various components, such as blade roots, pitch mechanisms, and sensors. Dynamic 9D LADAR’s 6DoF movement capability enables comprehensive inspections from multiple angles, ensuring that all components are precisely aligned. These movements can be enhanced with 6DoF tracker from a Radian Laser Tracker and i360 sensor. With its high accuracy and ability to capture detailed point cloud data, Dynamic 9D LADAR provides a reliable means of quality control, detecting any deviations or misalignments that could affect the rotor’s performance. 

Benefits of API’s Dynamic 9D LADAR in Windmill Rotor Inspections 

Speed: Dynamic 9D LADAR captures data at the rapid rate of 20,000 points per second, significantly reducing inspection time from hand measurements or even traditional laser radar systems and increasing overall production efficiency. 

Accuracy: With its high precision measurements and ability to capture detailed point cloud data, Dynamic 9D LADAR ensures the accuracy of windmill rotor components at 25um per meter, minimizing the risk of defects and ensuring optimal performance. 

Efficiency: By automating the inspection process and eliminating manual measurements, Dynamic 9D LADAR streamlines manufacturing operations, reducing costs, and improving productivity. 

Safety: Non-contact scanning eliminates the need for physical contact with delicate components on scaffolding and fixtures, reducing the risk of damage or injury during inspections. 

API’s Dynamic 9D LADAR offers a game-changing solution for windmill rotor manufacturing inspections. From mold verification to flange hole inspection to final assembly inspection, this technology enhances speed, accuracy, efficiency, and safety. By leveraging the capabilities of Dynamic 9D LADAR, wind energy manufacturers can ensure the quality and performance of their rotor components, contributing to the growth of sustainable energy production. 

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