This year NASA and Space-X made history. For the very first time, “NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station.”
In aerospace as in many other industries, nondestructive testing (NDT) is the final quality assessment, the final check of a part before it enters into service. Without a quality process and excellent technicians working diligently with a lot of integrity, the parts may just not be of the highest quality and fit for the job.
Today aerospace suppliers must deal with a mix of technical data formats required by their customers. For example, some aerospace prime contractors are only sharing dimensionless 3D CAD models with their suppliers for their new programs.
Wilbur and Orville Wright began experimenting with the idea of flight in 1899, and their first aircraft famously took flight in 1903. “It was the Wrights' genius and vision to see that humans would have to fly their machines, that the problems of flight could not be solved from the ground,” according to the National Park Service.
ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions for Turbine Blades and Other Products
January 2, 2020
Quality assurance in the aerospace industry presents unique challenges to maintain high standards for safety-critical parts without impeding the speed of manufacturing and overall productivity. These challenges are amplified by stringent authorizations — including more specs to follow, strict paperwork traceability, and compliance and certification standards.
Curiosity and collaboration will get you everywhere. That was the theme of keynote session at the ASNT Annual Conference. NASA’s Adam Steltzner gave an inspiring keynote about his work landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars, and described the importance of being vulnerable and open to doubt.
The aerospace industry is known for manufacturing parts with critical dimensions and tight tolerances. Despite the high-demanding inspections they are required to perform, important players in the industry have managed to reduce bottlenecks and detect problems early in the manufacturing process.
Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, a five-time space shuttle astronaut who spent more than 50 days in space, described her experiences in flight – highlights included the 90-minute trip to circle the Earth and experiencing weightlessness – for a special Women in Metrology event at CMSC 2019.