Tecnatom delivers advanced robotic NDT system to Korea Aerospace Industries

Latest Korean installation includes twin robot ultrasonic inspection, automatic changer modules and laser capability.

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Tecnatom (Madrid, Spain) has supplied its most complete robot-based inspection system yet to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI, Sacheon, Korea). Tecnatom has already supplied a large immersion tank equipped with phased array ultrasonic testing (UT) capability for pulse-echo inspection, and last year it delivered a robotic inspection system to KAI and the Korean tecnical center for research of composite materials known as Gyeongnam Technopark (GNTP, Changwon City). "However, this system represents a very important technological milestone for our company as it involves improvements in productivity control," explains Antonio Tanarro, Tecnatom's manager of diversification and aerospace business development. The new system comprises twin robots which reportedly offer multiple configuration possibilities for greater flexibility and productivity, enabling both through-transmission and pulse-echo UT techniques so that detection of possible defects can be achieved for surfaces, edges and radiuses.

"This solution is also equipped with phased array technology," says Tanarro, "and the two automatic changer modules provide quick configuration settings. In addition, the system includes a laser module which is easily adaptable to inspect new complex geometry parts."

Final acceptance tests on the new system were completed in March.

KAI manufactures a wide range of commercial and military aircraft, rotorcraft, satellites and components including the following made from composites: front and rear spar and spanwise beam for the Boeing 787 center wing box, B787 wing fixed trailing edge, B787 pivot bulkhead, Boeing P-8 raked wing tip, Airbus A350 nose landing gear door, fuselage for Bell 427 and Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters and rotor blades for the Surion KUH-1 helicopter.

Tecnatom has over 50 years of experience in nondestructive testing (NDT), beginning its activity in the nuclear industry, but now becoming a leader in technology for composites, with a broad global presence and workforce of 850 people.

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