Sulzer Schmid’s new technology platform slashes cost of drone-based rotor blade inspections

Sulzer Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering next-generation technology for the inspection of wind turbine rotor blades, has announced the launching of a new highly competitive inspection platform. The company’s new 3DX™ HD product has been developed as a cost-effective solution to cope with large volumes of high definition blade inspections.

Based on the compact and flexible DJI M-210 drone, Sulzer Schmid’s latest innovation delivers high performance and fully autonomous drone inspections at a significantly lower cost compared to its existing 3DXTM Ultra-HD product based on the DJI’s M-600 drone.

Thanks to the new capabilities offered by unmanned aerial vehicles, the market for drone-based rotor blade inspections has boomed in recent years. Sulzer Schmid’s drone inspections offer a myriad of benefits: they are automated and therefore immune to human error, repeatable and consistent in quality while covering 100% of the blade. Most importantly, the fully digital end-to-end process creates a foundation for trend analysis and predictive maintenance.

Depending on the type of inspections and their requirements, wind turbine OEMs, wind asset owners and O&M service providers will now be able to choose the technology that best suits their needs. Whereas critical inspections, such as end-of-warranty or change of ownership, call for the superior images provided by the 3DXTM Ultra-HD product, regular inspections can now be carried out with great efficiency by the 3DXTM HD platform at a fraction of the cost.

The new 3DX™ HD product combines increased inspection capacity with improved ease of deployment. It offers all the key benefits of autonomous inspection flights, while improving inspection efficiency, handling and deployment during field operations. It is compact enough to be checked-in as regular luggage for air travel and can be deployed easily on CTV ships for offshore wind inspections.

Source: Sulzer Schmid