Energy / Plants

Wind energy as an essential element of a environmentally-friendly power supply

Energy / Plants

Producing and processing industries are classic fundaments of developed nations. Both divisions require immense amounts of energy and, thus, aside from facilities and mechanisms for power generation, facilities and mechanisms for energy transport over any distances, as well as for energy storage. The business unit comprises projects in nuclear energy (keyword retreat working), conventional power plants, renewable energies and energy carriers as well as activities in the frame of production plants.

The business unit "energy / plants" is tieing Fraunhofer IZFP's activities in these thematic fields.

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energy[at]izfp.fraunhofer.de

AcoustiX: Acoustic sensor system for final assembly inspection or operation monitoring by means of cognitive signal analysis

AcoustiX – acoustic sensor system, here on a combine cutter bar
© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
AcoustiX – acoustic sensor system, here on a combine cutter bar

During operation, machines or systems generate characteristic vibrations, and thus, noises. These provide information on quality, as assembly errors or other defects often cause a change in these operating noises.

In contrast, acoustic testing systems available on the market allow objective detection of products having unusual vibrations or noises. Such systems do, however, have to often be carefully and explicitly calibrated using representative parts. In addition, the acoustic and vibratory behavior is generally limited to few acoustical parameters such as frequencies or amplitudes. Even minor design adjustments will require recalibration to prevent a negative impact on testing reliability.

For solving these problems, Fraunhofer IZFP has developed “AcoustiX“, an acoustic sensor system with cognitive signal analysis.

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3D SmartInspect: Intelligent Inspection Monitoring and Documentation by Optical Tracking System for Ultrasound and Eddy Current Inspection

3D SmartInspect – a Fraunhofer IZFP tool for the digital NDT world: Augmented Reality System as a support for the manual inspection of components or large surfaces
© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
3D SmartInspect – a Fraunhofer IZFP tool for the digital NDT world: Augmented Reality System as a support for the manual inspection of components or large surfaces

In the case of the widely used manual inspection, the quality of the inspection depends strongly on the personnel and the environmental conditions; this fact concerns the inspection of small com­ponents in production as well as the maintenance inspections of large industrial structures. The ­adequate interpretation of the measured values and the thorough coverage of the inspection area require a high degree of personal expertise. In addition, companies face considerable challenges with regard to documen­tation. Often, inspection reports are drawn up by hand and any peculiar observations are marked on the components themselves. A digital link between the specimen and the documentation is not established. If inspections take several hours or days, errors and incomplete documentation can occur, leading to negative consequences for subsequent processes.

To solve this topic, Fraunhofer IZFP has developed the optical tracking system “3D SmartInspect“, an assistance system for manual inspections based on cognitive signal evaluation.

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Efficient, conservation-friendly production of large casting components

© Axel Hindemith / Wikimedia Commons

To compete in the international iron manufacturing market, the capability to efficiently produce large-scale casting parts while conserving resources is becoming increasingly essential. Particularly with wind power systems, the dross* found in large cast iron components with nodular graphite (GJS) can increase manufacturing, personnel and energy costs. These components must frequently be re-worked using extremely time-consuming manual processes.

Manufacturers of cast components (wind power turbines and ship engines for instance) are all too aware of the problem with dross, an issue that has not been resolved to date. A research project involving renowned industry partners has finally opened up the possibility of examining large casting components with dross defects in a targeted fashion and developing ways to turn dross into usable parts, keep the re-work to a minimum and in particular avoid the scrapping of defective components, something which is a major benefit to manufacturers and users.

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Surface Hardening Depth (SHD): Nondestructive Inspection of Inductively Hardened Parts and Components Using Ultrasonic Backscattering

© Fraunhofer IZFP
Crank shaft inspection using SHD sensor

Long-term experience with customized ultrasonic hardware and software

Fraunhofer IZFP designs and manufactures optimized ultrasonic electronics

Systems for automated and manual testing are available

No calibration of reference parts with defined hardness

Impartial, user-independent measurement technique

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