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Robots for Automated Nondestructive Examination of Complex Shapes

AREVA NDE Solutions has a long history applying robotics and advanced non-destructive examination (NDE) techniques to the nuclear industry where radiation dose and harsh environments make manual inspection undesirable. Moreover, the nuclear environment demands automated inspections of critical components for long term traceability of the inspection and to allow re-inspection results to be compared with earlier examinations. This has been particularly important for vessel and nozzle inspections from both the ID (usually underwater) and from the OD (where space permits). These technologies have been naturally extended to commercial air, rail, and steel inspection challenges using conventional automation robots. Technical challenges to adapt low-cost 6+ axis robot systems for NDE include coordinate transforms to suit the robot kinematics and the desired customer display configurations, Ultrasound, eddy current and alternate NDE method triggers, scan-path planning including velocity limitations and coordinated motions plus projecting ultrasound waves from the complex surfaces into the component to be inspected with complete understanding of the UT beam path. This paper discusses extension of this technology from nuclear to industrial applications with examples of single and dual robots applying UT simple and phased-array contact and zero-degree squirter systems.

1. Glass, S.W., G. Mills and J.M. Calkins, Compensation Strategy for Six-Axis Underwater Inspection Robot to Improve Positioning Accuracy, ANS Robotic & Remote Systems Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2006. 2. AREVA NDE Solutions SAPHIR QUANTUM product buliten, NDE-Solutions Regional Sales Manager at regional., Jim Vanremortel +1 434 832 3731. 3. AREVA NDE Solutions single and dual robot product bulletin, NDE-Solutions Regional Sales Manager at regional., Jim Vanremortal +1 434 832 3731 4. Hartenberg, Richard Scheunemann and Jacques Denavit, “Kinematic synthesis of linkages,” McGraw-Hill series in mechanical engineering. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 435. 1965. 5. CENIT_FASTSURF product bulletin: 6. AREVA / LUCID IMAV product bulletin. NDE-Solutions Regional Sales Manager at, Jim Vanremortel +1 434 832 3731.
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