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Delivering excellence in quality and traceability 

In 2019, Physical Digital were the world’s first company to be accredited by Nadcap for their Measurement and Inspection Services using 3D Structured Light (3DSL). Nadcap is an unprecedented cooperative industry approach to improve quality, whilst reducing costs, for quality assurance throughout the aerospace and defence industries. A Nadcap accreditation is the recognition of excellence in a specialised field by the consensus of leading Aerospace companies. For 3D Structured Light-based measurement, it represents the most comprehensive set of quality criteria with which all scanning companies should be judged  when undertaking measurements of aerospace components. 

Nadcap Accreditation Logo

Providing reassurance in quality and accuracy

In August 2020, Physical Digital once again successfully passed the PRI evaluation process for the Nadcap accreditation of their Measurement & Inspection using 3D Structured Light (3DSL).

If you’re in any regulated industry, you’ll understand the importance of having rigorous safety and quality standards in place. For aerospace manufacturers Nadcap provides the gold standard for control of special processes and provides confidence that parts are being manufactured and inspected to the correct specifications.

With Physical Digital’s Nadcap 3D Scanning service you can be confident in the quality and accuracy of the data delivered for your project, which comes with an unbroken chain of traceability back to international standards. Your part route is carefully controlled and monitored through the measurement process with all influencing factors transparent and accessible.

At our facility in Surrey, our award-winning company operates a state-of-the-art metrology facility optimised for 3D Structured Light optical measurement with environmental monitoring & controls including precise temperature control, diffused airflow distribution, optimised lighting and humidity monitoring to ensure effects are understood and mitigated. Where required, rigorously tested processes determine the application and removal of aerospace-approved surface preparation, ensuring any influence is well understood. Parts can be measured in bespoke measurement fixtures designed and built in-house and optimised for full-field high-resolution data capture. Every fixture is subject to extensive Gauge R&R testing providing the opportunity for customer approval on the features to be inspected.

More about our nadcap accredited 3d structured light (3dsl) scanning service

As of 8th May 2019, Physical Digital can offer the world’s first and only Nadcap accredited 3D Structured Light Scanning service.

Nadcap 3D scanning for Aerospace

Nadcap is a standard born out of a collective need of aerospace and defence companies to have a coherent and universal quality standard against which to hold themselves and their suppliers accountable and a vast array of special processes are carried out to these standards globally, daily. Aerospace industries clearly understand the value of services compliant to this standard and Nadcap Measurement & Inspection Standard AC7130/4, specific to Three-Dimensional Structured Light Scanning Systems is the newest of such standards.

The PRI (Performance Review Institute) who oversee the implementation of Nadcap ‘can foresee these processes as the wave of the future..’ and they are not the only ones. Using the world’s only supplier of this service is therefore simply bringing 3DSL in line with your existing processes.

Nadcap standard 3D scanning for other industries

Where Nadcap may be a standard driven by aerospace and defence companies, it is equally applicable to any industry application where high measurement quality and traceability is paramount.

Holding your scanning supplier to the highest standards, regardless of industry can only ensure you receive the highest quality product. Every part across all industries are susceptible to the same influences of temperature, fixturing and obscuration of supplier processes. Using a Nadcap accredited supplier eliminates all of these issues.

Why is understanding and controlling the environment is so important for accuracy?

Temperature is so important to geometrical product specification and verification that it was the first consideration of the International Organisation for Standardization when producing standards. ISO1 specifies a reference temperature of 20 °C, which applies to the design and inspection of products.


Temperature variation often contributes a large proportion to an uncertainty budget unless suitably controlled. 3D scanning, like other measurement systems, is susceptible to this and has the other contributing factors such as variation in air density and airflow which can impact the measurement results.

Traceability for Nadcap 3DSL projects

When you receive a scan file or report based on scan data can you truly say than not only do you know all the contributing factors in the result but can prove it?

The combination of the GOM ATOS systems and a Nadcap accredited supplier leaves you in no doubt as to the route your part has taken, the environmental conditions under which it was measured, how it was held and the quality parameters of every measurement that contributed to the final result. With such a service you can access every calibration artefact used to verify your measurements and trace their link to national and international standards. You could recall the long-term statistical stability of the system by accessing long term data of standardised tests on a calibrated object.

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To find out how our 3D scanning services carried out by our expert engineers can add value to your business and transform your project call us, email or fill out the contact form.

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