Delcam's PowerINSPECT inspection software is being used in the construction of a nuclear-fusion machine that could produce inexhaustible, safe and environmentally attractive energy. According to Delcam, the software is being used on two Romer/Cimcore inspection arms to perform the measurements required to place several thousand pounds of stranded copper wire that make up the machine's magnetic conductors.
The machine, known as the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX), is being built by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in NJ, with support from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in TN. The device is expected to be ready for testing in 2009.
"PowerINSPECT is used to make thousands of dimensional measurements of the flexible copper conductor, while ten or eleven layers are being wound on, perhaps, the most strangely-shaped mandrel ever made," said Steve Raftopoulos, Project Engineer in charge of Metrology. "The portable CMM can reach into the mandrel's severely-restricted spaces, while the software gives team members continual feedback for positioning and adjusting the conductor," he added.
After the coils are wound, PPPL uses the CMMs and PowerINSPECT software for feedback in final positioning and adjustment of the conductor. "The software report is dumped to a spreadsheet. This data guides the coil-winding team in loosening the clamps and tweaking the alignment of the conductor layers, helping us get the coil in the right place with minimal manipulation," said Mr. Raftopoulos.
SOURCE: Delcam plc