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Advanced robotic inspection of complex geometry structures

Advanced robotic inspection of complex-geometry structures

AEMRI’s provision for advanced inspection is being shaped by the increasing use of composite and additive manufactured materials. There is a rapidly growing need to manufacture ever more complex structures or components with improved stiffness-to-weight ratios, or corrosion, impact and fatigue resistance.

The successful IntACom collaborative project at TWI Wales has gone some way in addressing changing scanning requirements in the use of its purpose-built advanced inspection and test cells. The project team was able to demonstrate a large reduction in time for inspection of complex manufactured components using six-axis robotic manipulators, ultrasonic phased array technology (PAUT) and software enhancements through assisted defect recognition and scan display management.

The opportunity now is to further increase scanning throughput and broaden applicability to new materials, component geometries and flaw types that cannot currently be inspected using automated systems. AEMRI will achieve this through development of the robotic manipulators such as an advanced high-speed position translation module, and the use of new ultrasonic technologies including full matrix capture.

AEMRI will develop:

  • automated scanning using a tracked multi-robot system capable of handling large, thick components up to 8m in length
  • advanced non-destructive testing during production for additive layer manufactured components
  • X-ray laminography and tomosynthesis of carbon fibre reinforced plastic components with wide aspect ratios.