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Contest Number:
IC_2018_0032

About the Challenge

NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company, invites proposals describing technologies, processes, or approaches that can increase the speed and accuracy of aviation parts inspection.

Award

Participants in this competition vie for up to 3 cash prizes of US$15,000.  Winning respondents who enter into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with GE will be awarded a US$35,000 development grant to collaborate with GE to develop proposed solutions. Find out More

Evaluation Process

Quality assurance inspections are key to a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, fuel cells, medical devices, and optics.  These inspections ensure a consistent product by detecting manufacturing deviations that can lead to unintended effects in end applications.

Aircraft engine production is particularly complex and demanding.  Components are precision crafted to tight tolerances, using high performance materials.  During production, every component is individually inspected to ensure compliance with quality standards. Skilled and careful assembly of inspected components results in safe and reliable aircraft engines.

Automated processes at every step of aircraft engine manufacturing have helped to increase throughput.  GE is constantly striving to improve efficiency and believes that developing the next generation of high speed, high precision inspection methods will further increase manufacturing efficiency.

In place of inspecting actual high precision aircraft parts, respondents will demonstrate their abilities by inspecting a Victorinox 4" Paring Knife (Item Model Number: 6.7703) (also available here and here).  This item has been chosen due to its similarity in profile, sharp edge, and mirror-like finish to aircraft engine parts.

The goal of this Challenge is to identify and help develop technologies that will result in a significant evolution of inspection metrology

Timeline

Eligibility

See Official Rules for details.  Contest opens on December 9, 2014.  Must submit at least one Entry by February 24, 2015 to be eligible.  Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Participation may require purchase of Victorinox Knife. See contest details for reimbursement information.  Void where prohibited.

View the NineSights Terms of Use

Success Criteria

In order to demonstrate the ability to inspect high precision aircraft engine parts, successful inspection technologies will:

  • Provide inspection of the blade portion of the Victorinox 4" Paring Knife (Item Model Number: 6.7703)(also available here and here), with special attention to the cutting edge, in 3 minutes or less
  • Exhibit accuracy of 10 microns
  • Have repeatability of 5 microns
  • Operate in a typical manufacturing environment, containing:
    • Dust;
    • Vibration;
    • Variability in lighting and temperature.
  • Have flexibility to handle multiple surface finish requirements, including mirror-like finishes
  • Be able to focus extra attention on critical part surfaces
  • Generate data output files and statistics resulting from measurement of the Victorinox 4" Paring Knife (Item Model Number: 6.7703) (also available here and here), for analysis.

Reimbursement is available for the purchase of Victorinox 4" Paring Knives: Find out More

Challenge Moderator
  • PhD, Program Manager
  • NineSigma

Welcome to GE's Aviation Inspection Innovation Contest. Questions? Feel free toemail us at phd@ninesigma.com.

Meet the General Electric Company Sponsors
  • Open Innovation Operations & Fastworks Integration
  • General Electric Company
  • Director, Open Innovation & Advanced Manufacturing
  • General Electric Company
  • Chief Manufacturing Engineer Rotating Parts and Airfoils Value Stream
  • General Electric Company
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Background

GE Aviation, a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft, is committed to the evolution of inspection technologies.

 Currently, one of the most critical challenges in what is the fastest-growing installed base of jet engines in commercial aviation is to ensure that the methods used to inspect key components are as advanced as the new technologies themselves.

 Aircraft production is particularly complex and demanding.  Components are precision crafted to tight tolerances, using high performance materials.  After production, every item is individually inspected to ensure compliance with quality standards. Skilled and careful assembly of inspected components results in safe and reliable aircraft.

 GE Aviation is constantly striving to improve efficiency and believes that developing the next generation of high-speed, high precision inspection methods will further increase manufacturing efficiency.