Automating Ship Repairs Through Sensor Systems

For the ship to perform efficiently, it needs to be maintained and kept in the perfect shape. This means cleaning it and repairing it whenever technical issues arise. In particular, cleaning and repairing tasks on the surface of the ship requires the best approach. When cleaning and repairing tasks are done manually, a lot of time is consumed. Moreover, there are other issues that crop up, which make cleaning and repair tough tasks to accomplish within a set timeframe. That is why effective approaches are needed to achieve the best outcome. Here is more on automation of ship repairs.

Ship maintenance

Ship maintenance

The task of ship maintenance involves a number of key elements that are handled in phases. The first task to be carried out is the beaching operation. The desalination of the ship hull is then carried out after the beaching operation. At this point, effective cleaning is also carried out for great results. High pressure grit is used in the blasting of the ship hull. In the blasting process, spotting and full blasting are two cleaning methods that are used. Full blasting cleans the entire ship hull while the spotting method focuses on specific areas of the ship that may have been damaged. The spotting method is the most preferred method due to low cost and effectiveness.

The sensor system

The reason why sensor systems are considered to be the most effective solution for automating ship cleaning and repairs is the addition of effective in-built artificial equipment. During the development of the cleaning and repairing systems, a number of specifications have to be considered. These include cost-effectiveness, high-pressure grit and water compatibility, residue collection device and full-blasting capability among others.

On that note, the system should comprise of two integral subsystems. The first system is mechanical. In mechanical subsystem, actuators, cleaning heads and sensors have to be mounted. In the second subsystem, which is an automated subsystem, functions are done by manoeuvring the robot on the hull surface.

Robotic system with sensors

Robotic systems were developed as the need for carrying spot blasting and full blasting effectively on various work surfaces arose. Furthermore, it has prompted the development of efficient sensors. Essentially, the systems function on an architecture that comprises of a basic positioning structure, a single cleaning system, second structure and a smart control system for inspection. The purpose of the smart control system is to regulate the various elements that are found within a cleaning system.

There are two basic structures that are used in the system, which are robotic climbers and robotic vertical towers. With regard to vertical towers, two of them are actually needed for effective performance. As such, they are fitted with great mobility infrastructures. As for the robotic climber, a vehicle that firmly adheres to the ship hull is used. The vehicle is used to access ship areas that are hardly accessible due to obstacles and unevenness. With the robotic vehicle, both the primary and secondary structures can be easily accessed. In addition, automating a system that can pick various areas within a particular surface will give a great outcome with an efficient visual inspection device that has been developed and standardized.