Product inspection or condition monitoring during the utilization phase

In the field of inspection and monitoring of structures during operation or maintenance, Fraunhofer IZFP focuses on the development of nondestructive methods and procedures for condition monitoring and condition assessment, including lifecycle management. These activities range from processes for component and parts maintenance, to complete monitoring systems for condition-based inspection applications.

In this area, researchers evaluate various NDT technologies such as ultrasound, electromagnetics, eddy current, microwave, thermography and combinations thereof (multimodal NDT). Using these technologies as a foundation, inspection concepts, laboratory samples and prototypes are developed for applications in the automotive, railway, aerospace, energy technology and infrastructure industries.

Challenges in the field of Service / Maintenance will increasingly shift towards condition-based maintenance in the sense of "predictive maintenance," where NDT-based condition monitoring will be an essential part of the value chain. Much of this research focuses on quantitative ultrasound inspection systems. In this context, EMAT (electromagnetically excited ultrasound transducer) is of special interest for guided waves, while ultrasound-based sampling phased array is of special interest for three-dimensional image processing.

These methods are used for various inspection-related issues in the maintenance and diagnostics of safety-relevant components, such as for railway (wheel set inspection), infrastructure (concrete inspection) and plant (pipeline inspection) systems. With this in mind, the institute carries out diverse R&D activities that focus on the development of new reconstruction and image processing algorithms for data evaluation and data visualization. This also applies to the combination of multiple NDT methods for multi-modal inspection applications. An important trend here is the entire field of condition monitoring, which involves permanent monitoring with the goal of optimized resource efficiency and/or for assessing the safety margins of components or operational systems. This field is becoming increasingly important not only in the energy (nuclear power plants et al.) and aerospace sectors, but also in the railway, infrastructure and plant industries. The development of a multi-modal sensor platform with specific sensor technology and data analysis is at the forefront of current research activities.



Condition Monitoring, Lifecycle Management, Controling

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.

To the press release

BetoFlux: Portable Magnetic Flux Leakage Inspection System for ­Detecting Corrosion Damage in Prestressed Concrete Poles

© BauConsulting Dr. Walther

Magnetic flux leakage inspection

Intuitive representation of the location and condition of ferromagnetic prestressing steel

Specifically designed for portable use

Easily adapted to different concrete pole diameters

Less effort compared to alternative inspection methods such as X-ray

Minimal risk of additional pole damage

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Thermographic System for Condition Monitoring

© Fraunhofer IZFP

Cognitive thermographic monitoring system

Exchangeable camera module (320x240 Pixel with 60 Hz)

Self-sufficient and autonomous measuring system

Supervisions of “ Regions of Interest“

Suitable in multimodal sensor platforms:
Different measurement methods can be combined
Fusion of the results (thermography, ultrasound, eddy current)

Self-Sufficient Platform for Permanent Condition Monitoring of Infrastructure Constructions

© Katharina Wieland Müller- Pixelio

Modular, energy self-sufficient board providing eddy current inspection, inclination measurement, magnetic flux leakage inspec­tion, ultrasonic inspection, etc. and recording all sampled data over long periods of time while dissipating extremely low amounts of energy

Self-sufficient and eco-friendly power supply by integrated photovoltaic cell

Maintenance-free long-term operation

Supersensitive defect detection

Telemetric data recovery by radio-controlled interface

Low costs per unit

Unique combination of Fraunhofer IZFP‘s proven nondestructive sensor technology

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BetoScan: Robot Platform for NDT Sensors

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

Autonomous, self-navigating robot platform designed for NDT sensors

For inspecting several hundred square meters of concrete parking decks per day in high resolution (single-person operation)

Autonomous operation over obstacle-free surfaces using a pre-defined pattern

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UER III: System for Ultrasonic Stress Measurement in the Rim of Railroad Wheels

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
UER III: System for ultrasonic stress measurement in the rim of railroad wheels

Fields of application: Heavy/operational maintenance

More than 20 years of experience in industrial application

Frontend solution to minimize electromagnetic interferences

Development and design of the mobile version in 2018

Comprehensive service and flexible technical support

Selection of long-term available hardware components

Compatible with modern IT infrastructure in workshop environment

Comfortable handling, easy to learn and reliable

Identical cross-platform inspection software for all variants

Flyer UER

Flyer UER-mobil