Sulzer & Schmid Laboratories AG, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for wind rotor blade inspections, has launched its latest 3DX High Productivity (HP) solution, specifically designed for high-volume inspection campaigns. With advanced automation and AI-enabled analytics, 3DX HP delivers a streamlined single-stop process.
The path to net zero requires rapid scaling up of renewable energy sources, which means the installation of more and larger wind farms. Regular inspection of these assets is essential to identify damage, undertake repairs and plan maintenance to optimize annual energy production. Sulzer Schmid designed its new solution to withstand the toughest onshore and offshore environments.
Fully autonomous drone technology means that it is easy to use, from take-off to landing. No manual intervention is required. Rugged and resistant, the UAVs are programmed to capture high-quality imagery data in a systematic way covering the entire surface of the blade in a single-stop flight.
At the heart of the inspection process is the proprietary browser-based 3DX Blade Platform. In combination with the 3DX Blade Platform, the 3DX HP AI-enhanced analytics enable a turnaround time from image capture to report of just five days. High-quality images with highly accurate metadata indicate precise damage location and sizing, enabling a fully transparent view of the blade health status of the entire fleet. The repeatability of the process means that results can be tracked over time to monitor damage progression, to make informed maintenance decisions and provide lifetime documentation.
“When we first launched our 3DX Blade Platform in 2016, we recognized the potential for UAV technology to redefine industrial grade inspections,” says Tom Sulzer, Sulzer Schmid’s co-founder and CEO. “Working in close partnership with our customers, our high productivity solution has been specifically designed to meet the needs of high-volume inspection campaigns. Hassle free, with no compromises on quality or efficiency, it sets a new inspection benchmark for the industry. Customers can choose between different operational models, from full service to self-performed inspections.”
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