Carl Zeiss Industrial Measuring Technology (IMT) has announced that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Ft. Worth, Texas, has selected a ZEISS gantry coordinate measuring machine (CMM) to measure sub assemblies of F-35 wings. The high-accuracy MMZ B Plus system features a measuring range of 5 x 16 x 2.5 meters and is the largest gantry CMM Carl Zeiss has ever built. Valued at more than $5million, the order from Lockheed Martin’s aerospace division encompasses the measuring machine, plans for the vibration-stabilised foundation, the climate-controlled lab and the integration of a pallet feed system. At a length of 16 meters, the MMZ B Plus is equipped to measure aerodynamic tools, wind canal models, 1:1 modules, aircraft wings and elements of the airframe.
“The challenge was to develop a CMM large enough to fit the oversized, structural parts while maintaining highest accuracy during the inspection process”, says Walter Pettigrew, vice president of sales at Carl Zeiss IMT.