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CRP Support to the IntACom™ 3 JIP: January to December 2021

Project Code: 34247

Start date and planned duration: February 2021, 12 months


  • Further development of advanced radiography systems.
  • Development of eddy current capability for IntACom system.
  • Development of cooperating robotic system applications.
  • Develop assisted defect recognition (ADR) using artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Develop hybrid laser/air-coupled ultrasonic testing (UT) capability for the IntACom system.

Project Outline

Industry is manufacturing increasing numbers of critical structures from composite and additively manufactured components. The need to inspect every part, coupled with the challenges of geometry and anisotropy, and the desire to drive down costs have resulted in current inspection techniques failing to keep pace with industry requirements.

The IntACom programme was established to address the above challenges at the request of several major industry partners and has already delivered groundbreaking research and improved inspection solutions for them and wider industry. The IntACom 2 project continued to address these issues adding a larger robotic cell to the smaller cell developed under IntACom 1. It incorporated 10m linear tracks and a turntable as well as addressing issues such as metrology for NDT and the encoded scanning of larger structures in an in-service environment. In addition, radiography work packages investigated laminography and panel shift CT systems. This project seeks to continue the successful IntACom programme by introducing additional methods including eddy current, hybrid laser/air-coupled UT and thermography to be deployed in the robotic inspection cell, and development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for robotic path planning and automated defect detection.


Industry Sectors


Surface Transport


Benefits to Industry

Industry will benefit directly from the project developments, with access to a range of automated inspection facilities capable of handling large components with complex geometry both in a dedicated safety cell at manufacture, but also in-service using photogrammetry tracking in a free environment. IntACom 3 will extend this capability further by adding co-operative robots (cobots), more inspection methods and improving inspection throughput, thereby reducing costs. The modular, scalable systems developed at TWI will be used to develop and demonstrate inspection capability on parts supplied by industry. TWI will provide specifications, consultancy and training allowing industry to order systems from suppliers confident that they will perform as expected.


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