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Inline inspection and quality control of PM components


Project description

QualiNET: Automated inline inspection and quality control of net-shape PM components


The powder metallurgy (PM) process, by its nature, is suited to high-volume production and is increasingly employing finer powders for refined microstructures (nanometre-to very-few-micrometre scale). Therefore any flaws/defects in the parts can have a significant impact on the production output, such as loss of material and efficiency, as well as potential failures in later use.


A system (QualiNET) will be developed for automated quality control of PM components and components produced by other advanced net-shape techniques where similar defects occur. These include powder injection moulding (PIM) and additive manufacturing by laser sintering (also known as laser cladding and by various other names).


Additive manufacturing is also becoming an increasingly popular net-shape materials processing route for production of high-value-added components. There is a need for automated non-destructive inspection, to determine and separate good and bad batches during production, preferably as early as possible in the process, allowing for potential healing, where possible, without having to seek destructive examination carried out manually, which can have a negative impact on the production flow and output. More critically, any faulty part that is overlooked may cause further problems later on, such as unexpected, premature failures in application. Depending on the component and the criticality of the application, this can have drastic consequences.

Project Partners

  • Laser Cladding Technology
  • InnoTecUK
  • CIT Ltd
  • Brunel University London

For more information, please visit the QualiNET website

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications - CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing, BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham), MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick), MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham), PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick), Languages - English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Professional Bodies - Fellow of the British Institute of NDT, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.