Aircraft & Aerospace Structures

The supply of non-contact gap and hole mapping sensors to Major Commercial and Military Aircraft Manufacturers such as Boeing, AIRBUS, Bombardier, Embraer, Alenia, Lockheed Martin, Textron, Northrop, Boeing/Bell Helicopter, BAE, and MHI etc. is a major market for Capacitec.

Aircraft Shimming Operations

This started in the mid 1990’s with the qualification of the GapmanGen3® portable “electronic feeler gage” that replaced feeler gauges in aircraft assembly shimming operations. The Gapman® features a dual capacitive sensor for position-compensated measurement and easy insertion into very narrow gaps down to 0.004" (100 microns) in a wide range of aerospace applications.

Key Gapman® Features

  • Measures gaps between all metal and carbon composite (CFRP) surfaces
  • Microcontroller based and application software driven,
  • Records and stores up to 1,000 data points for easy transfer to SPC and other quality systems via RS232
  • Typical accuracy is +/- 0.0005 (12.7 microns) or better over a 0.100" (2.5mm) range and resolution of 0.0001 (2.54 microns)
  • Battery operated and lightweight (approx. 1lb/454 grams)

The most popular aerospace-related application for the Gapman® is commercial and military aircraft assembly and in particular its use in the shimming process. It has been documented that use of the Gapman® within these application environments has reduced required shimming time by five times over the previously implemented feeler gauge methods. As a result, hundreds of robust Gapman® units have been in use for more than a decade during three-shift operations within this tough shop floor environment.


GapmanGen3_Aircraft_Applications_Oct_2015 article

Aircraft CFRP shimming article

Gapman Gen3 Brochure