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X-Scan

Laser guided inspection robot for the non-destructive testing of thin steel gauge welds in the shipping industry

Objectives

X-Scan is a collaborative project between EU companies and research organisations. The objective is to develop and produce novel inspection techniques and devices specifically for the inspection of thin steel section welds for the shipping industry. In the marine industry, structural failure is a major cause of the loss of ships, tankers and other marine vessels, resulting in pollution of oceans, seas and coastal waters, loss of life or long delays while repairs are carried out. Each year, dozens of ships sink – many as a result of leaking structures due to corrosion and poor weld quality. Most inspection techniques used today have proven to be disruptive to the manufacturing process and are far from cost effective. New generations of ships are being built from thinner section steels in order to lower the cost of build and ship operations and so typical assessment methods are not as effective as they were for thicker sections. Therefore, there is a genuine need for a more reliable, faster, cost effective and safer inspection technique. By combining ultrasonic phased array, electromagnetic ACFM (Alternating Current Field Measurement) and laser optical methods, X-Scan enables the detection and sizing of surface breaking and subsurface flaws or defects. By developing laser-based tracking and a self-controlled robot, X-Scan enables automatic inspection following the weld run.

Benefits

  • integrated inspection technology for the shipping industry for a more reliable, faster, cost effective and safer inspection
  • development of laser-based tracking and a selfcontrolled robot, X-Scan enables automatic inspection following the weld run
  • very high resolution measurements to successfully detect small weld defects

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 283284.