Sulzer & Schmid Laboratories AG, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for wind rotor blade inspections announces the launch of its latest 3DX™ High Productivity (HP) solution specifically designed for high volume inspection campaigns. Thanks to advanced automation and AI-enabled analytics, 3DX™ HP delivers a streamlined single-stop process, making it the most efficient rotor blade inspection solution now available on the market.
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 optimise annual energy production. This has driven Sulzer Schmid’s latest development to address the needs of high-volume inspection campaigns. Fast, efficient, and accurate, it is designed 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, 15 to 20-minute flight. Repeatable, with perfect image framing, it offers immediate image quality assurance in the field.
At the heart of the inspection process is the proprietary browser based 3DX™ Blade Platform which integrates every aspect of the inspection in one place. In combination with the 3DX™ Blade Platform, the 3DX™ HP AI-enhanced analytics enable a turnaround time from image capture to report of just 5 days, setting new industry standards. 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.
Tom Sulzer, Sulzer Schmid Co-founder and CEO, states, “When we first launched our 3DX™ Blade Platform in 2016, we recognized the potential for UAV technology to redefine industrial grade inspections. 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.”