TidalSense - Partners

The partners provide a well-balanced group as the proposed technology represents a market into which they can supply their technical knowledge and excellence. The Consortium believes that they provide the best people with the best facilities, to successfully deliver the project. Together, the SMEs and RTDs introduce a diverse range of experience and have no internal competitive elements.

TWI Ltd (Formerly The Welding Institute) - RTD, UK.

Profile: With 550 skilled staff and a turnover of €57M, TWI is one of Europe’s largest independent RTDs. It is membership based with 3,500 Industrial Member companies world wide. Among these, are major electric power utilities, many of them active in wind power generation and therefore potential customers for the TidalSense technology. It is currently involved in some 40 EC projects, 24 of them in the NDT Group. TWI has become a world leader for non-destructive testing (NDT). Some 65 engineers and technicians work in the NDT Group, 22 of them on long range ultrasonics.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: TWI will manage the project and will be involved in all WPs and will lead WP9, Project Management.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: TWI has a wealth of experience in the management of collaborative projects. It is also very strong in the field of NDT, specifically LRU and the modelling of ultrasound transmission.

Staff involved: The backgrounds of the Project Manager, Dr Slim Soua and of the Administrative Co-ordinator, Dr Adrian Duncan are described in Section 2.1.1. There are 20 staff (consists of consultants, Engineers and technician) who will be reporting to Dr Soua that will be working under this project.

Reasons for selection by the SMEs: The SMEs selected TWI to manage this project and to have a leading research role because of its long and successful experience in managing European projects, its proven technical excellence in NDT and its 15 years experience in LRU. TWI will benefit, because it sees tidal power as a strategic target for future technology developments.

I&T Nardoni – SME Italy

Business activities, type and size of organisation: IT was established in 1988 to introduce advanced NDT techniques to complement the traditional NDT disciplines. It is active with a wide range of NDT methods. In particular IT has developed advanced computerised ultrasonic techniques for the fully automated acquisition of NDT data. IT has also developed computerised Tomography together with Spectrum Mosca. IT operate the LRUT Teletest system for the inspection of land pipe lines and pipework. They employ approximately 40 people and are a specialist service inspection company. Mr Giuseppe Nardoni, is the Director and owner of the company

Project and Contractual role: WP leader 7. IT will be principally concerned with input into LRUT development and the field trials and validation of the system.

Involvement and Qualifications for role: Currently IT serves a wide range of industries: chemical, petrochemical, electric power, aircraft, automotive, steel making and mechanical equipment and offshore inspection.

Expected derived benefits from project: IT intends to broaden its scope of services to include AUT and PA-AUT and find further applications for LRUT including offshore applications. They will also get the opportunity to venture into the Structural Health Monitoring and Condition monitoring of turbine structures.

Staff involved: Mr Nardoni is the director of IT Nardoni Institute. He has a team of 15 engineers with various qualifications including Levels 1, 2 and 3 of ANST inspection technologies (e.g. Phased Array, Guided wave, Acoustic Emission and Ultrasonics).

Tidal Sails - SME, Norway

Profile: Tidal Sails AS was formed in 2004. The company develops and commercializes a unique renewable energy technology that harnesses ocean currents and tidal streams and converts it into emission-free electricity using underwater sails. Sails have the potential to surpass any other tidal technologies under development as regards extraction efficiency, prospects for cost reduction, and acceptability. The energy converter is a series of underwater sails, affixed to wires strung across the tidal stream at an angle. The sails are driven back and forth by the tidal flow between two stations, at one of which the generator is installed. The technology, and indeed the basic principle of this unique solution to extracting energy from tidal streams, is protected by patents worldwide.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: Tidal Sails have an end user role as they will supply the condition monitoring system as part of their tidal generation system. They will be involved in the specification of the condition monitoring system and of the components that should be inspected. They will also supply representative samples to the project consortium to enable the system development. Throughout the duration of the project, they will have a consulting role, providing technical input regarding their generation technology where required.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: Tidal Sails are producers of a tidal generation system and as such are well suited to their role of providing specification and guidance.

Benefits of Participation to the Organisation and to the Consortium: Tidal Sails will be able to include condition monitoring as part of their system, thereby improving its reliability, life, maintenance costs and attractiveness to operators.

Staff involved: Mr Are Børgesen (President) and Mr Jan Eric Hansen (Vice President) are extremely interested in the TidalSense project. He has allocated 12 engineers (including technicians) to assist in the development of the TidalSense project.

IKH - SME, Greece

Profile: iKnowHow Informatics S.A. was founded in 2002 in Athens, Greece. The field of activities includes the development of the following applications: Relational Data Bases, Geoinformatics systems, Electronic Educational Material, Electronic Systems of documentation and maintenance, Electronic Trade, e-learning and generally the concretization of applications in environments like the Internet and the Intranet. The Company supplies complete solutions (H/W, S/W commercial and/or specifically shaped for the customer, networks, installation, education, and testing purposes) with continuous support/maintenance. It is also specialized in the management of information technology projects and in software development with the use of programming languages (Visual Basic, Visual C++, Java), script languages, Internet Markup languages (HTML, DHTML, XML, WML) and RDBMS (SQL Server, Oracle). iKnowHow also provides advisory services on Rearrangement of enterprise structures and processes, e-Business strategy development, Business Plan development for the best application of new technologies, Deployment of ERP systems, Research and development projects, Communication of research results to the market. iKnowHow is an SME.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: IKH will have a major part in WP-5, where the control and display software will be written and integrated into the system. They have subcontracted the software design to TWI and Cereteth.

Benefits of Participation to the Organisation and to the Consortium: IKH will be a supplier of the software to the instrument, and will benefit by knowledge gained in the NDT sector for similar developments in other industries

Staff involved: IKH have a team of 20 staff with highly skilled in software development and will be able to contribute specialised knowledge of control and display software. The team is led by Menelaos Sotiriou will be IKH representative. Additional staff will be used from IKH in order to deliver their part of the work.

Innovative Technology and Science Limited (INNOTECUK)

Profile: The research team of INNOTECUK, has been at the forefront of the development of robotic NDT for over fifteen years. Over this period, with European and industrial funding, over 12 wall-climbing, swimming and amphibious mobile robots have been developed for the internal and in-service inspection of the walls and floors of oil and petrochemical storage tanks (ROBTANK) and tanks for floating production storage of oil (FPSO), the inspection of fuselage and wings of aircraft for loose rivets and cracks (ROBAIR), the inspection of nozzle welds on the internal walls of nuclear pressure vessels (RIMINI), the inspection of nozzle welds on 760mm diameter pipes in the primary circuits of nuclear plant (RRNDT), cooperating robots for the fabrication of large infrastructure with welding, cleaning and NDT wall climbing robots (CROCELLS), and inspection of wind turbine blades (CONCEPTS).

The robots developed have won six annual awards between 2004-2008 for industrial innovation made by the Industrial Robot International Journal and the conference on Climbing and Walking Robots & their Supporting Technologies (CLAWAR).

The ROBTANK wall-climbing and floor inspection robot won the Industrial Robot Journal/ CLAWAR 2004 award for innovation in robotics.

A small, permanent magnet adhesion wall climbing robot (WALEXPLOR) was awarded the Industrial Robot Journal/BAE Systems/CLAWAR 2005 prize for innovation in climbing robots.

A paper describing the ROBAIR wall-climbing robot design won the Industrial Robot Journal/ CLAWAR 2006 highly commended award. A paper describing this work was awarded the Emerald Literati highly commended prize in 2008.

The CROCELLS NDT robot that cooperates with other robots to carry out fabrication of welded structures was awarded the 2007 industrial innovation award by the Industrial Robot Journal/ CLAWAR 2007 The CONCEPT wind turbine tower climbing robot and RRNDT 7-axis robot won the Industrial Robot highly commended awards for innovation in 2008.

These developments have been reported by the technical director of INNOTECUK in three invited book chapters for the American Society for Non-destructive Testing (ASNT) and the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, three keynote conference speeches and in invited journal papers.

The Royal Society (UK) selected this research for exhibition at its 2010 Festival of Excellence in Science.

Role in project: INNOTECUK will have overall responsibility for WP4 to prototype the capsule and positioning system, cleaning system, robot manipulator development and control and vision systems. They will work closely with other work packages to ensure that the NDTcollar is presented correctly to the chain links.

Reason for participation: Research and development and knowledge acquisition and expertise in robotics for NDT. INNOTECUK finds the MOORINSPECT concept highly innovative, allowing it to further investigate novel submersible robots, and to continue to apply and develop technology it has developed for submersible swimming robots for inspection and NDT in water, petrochemical storage tanks, pressure vessels and pipelines.

Staff Involved: Dr Tariq Sattar, Technical Director. Dr Sattar has over 20 years of experience in award winning automation and robotics design and development.

KTU - RTD, Lithuania

Profile: KTU is the biggest technical university in Lithuania and other neighbouring Baltic countries. Research and development activity in the field of ultrasonic started more than 38 years ago. The main activities are:

  • Research and development.
  • Technology transfer.
  • Consultancy and engineering on NDT.
  • NDT training
The Ultrasound Institute carries out research in all areas of ultrasonic NDT and employs 9 Senior Researchers, 1 Researcher, 2 engineers and 6 Doctoral Students and is involved in many research & development projects in joint ventures with Lithuanian and other European research centres. Since 1995, the Ultrasound Institute has been active in the European INCO-COPERNICUS programme, 8 research projects carried out under contracts with industrial companies in European Union, more than 15 Lithuanian research programmes and projects.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: KTU will carry out the modelling of guided wave propagation in the samples and define the optimum transducer configuration. KTU will also be involved in the transducer array and the development of the instrumentation.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: The institute’s staff has considerable expertise in the field of NDT research and these skills will be used to support the Consortium.

Reasons for selection by the SMEs: The SMEs chose KTU as an RTD partner because of its NDT facilities and unrivalled expertise in the modelling of ultrasound. This project fulfils KTU’s aim of increasing their activities in growth markets, which includes inspection in the maintenance industry and in condition monitoring.

Staff involved: Prof. Kazys is a renowned authority in NDT with over 50 publications.

IT Power - SME, UK

Profile: IT Power Ltd is a leading international energy consultancy which specialises in sustainable energy technologies and policy, and related economic, financial, commercial and environmental work. The company has considerable experience of the technological and practical issues associated with renewable energy development, carbon emission reduction and rural electrification projects. Since its formation 27 years ago, IT Power has completed almost 1000 projects in over 100 countries. IT Power's services cover solar, hydro, wind power, bioenergy, energy efficiency and carbon reduction projects.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: IT Power have an end user role as they will supply the condition monitoring system as part of their tidal generation system. They will be involved in the specification of the condition monitoring system and of the components that should be inspected. They will also supply representative samples to the project consortium to enable the system development. Throughout the duration of the project, they will have a consulting role, providing technical input regarding their generation technology where required.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: IT Power are producers of a tidal generation system and as such are well suited to their role of providing specification and guidance.

Benefits of Participation to the Organisation and to the Consortium: IT Power will be able to include condition monitoring as part of their system, thereby improving its reliability, life, maintenance costs and attractiveness to operators.

Staff involved: M. Jamie O'Nians is the Engineering Director of IT Power and will be having a team of 15 engineers to participate in the development of the TidalSense project. They have highly skilled and experience engineers (in electrical, mechanical and structural engineering).

Cereteth- RTD, Greece

Profile: Cereteth is a non profit entity organisation established in 2006 under the auspices of General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Greek Ministry of Development. The Centre’s main mission is to conduct basic, applied and technological research that leads to new products and services with industrial, economic and social impact.

Cereteth has been involved in many EC funded research projects, and has cooperated with major industrial companies, research centres, and universities. The development is supported by well-equipped laboratories and workshops. The Centre has 4 Research Institutes and 20 Laboratories.

Cereteth’s organisation includes the Central Administration and four Institutes;

  • The Mechatronics Institute (IMTRONICS)
  • The Institute of Technology and Management of Agricultural Eco-systems (ITEMA)
  • The Institute of Biomedical Research & Technology (BIOMED)
  • The Institute of Human Performance & Rehabilitation (PerfoTech)

Its experience to delivering complete automated solutions to a range of NDT assessment sectors (i.e. aerospace, transport, materials processing, etc), guarantees the complete accomplishment of the tasks attributed in the project.

The proposed team has the experience, skills and resources necessary to successfully manage a large, complex programme of this nature. This team has extensive expertise in designing and assembling components as well as in project management.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: Cereteth will assist with the development of instrumentation and software. They will also assist with the system integration, laboratory tests and any subsequent modifications. Associated research fields are: Smart Sensor Systems; Communication Networks; Sensor Networks; Data Acquisition; HW signal conditioning and processing.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: Cereteth has been involved in many collaborative R&D projects, both as partner and coordinator. Cereteth gained significant experience in delivering complete solutions for in-situ inspection with NDT related equipment with its participation in European funded research projects. Through this experience in delivering complete solutions and to a broad range of industrial sectors the complete accomplishment of the tasks attributed in the project is guaranteed.

Reasons for selection by the SMEs: The SMEs have selected Cereteth as an RTD in TidalSense because of their background in the development of systems for in-situ inspection. A big benefit for Cereteth will be participating in a consortium involving many European partners. Furthermore, the Centre will profit from the cooperation with the other R&D companies who are leaders in NDT and structural health monitoring.

Staff involved: Dr Giannis Giakas Biomechanics and Interdisciplinary research coordinator.

EnerOcean - LE, Spain

Profile:EnerOcean SL is an Andalusian company based in Malaga, with a clear approach to the sustainable development by means of using technologies from renewable energy, especially those from the seas and oceans.

The mission of the company is to become a national and European leader in promoting natural resources and advanced renewable technologies, focussing strongly on technologies related to the renewable sources from the sea and ocean. Their main activities are:

  • Research and development.
  • Promotion and exploitation of facilities for the generation of electric power from ocean energy, by means of licensing the best technologies for customised application.
  • Conduct training courses and promote technologies related to renewable marine energy.

Role in the Project / Tasks Attributed: EnerOcean is a potential operator of the tidal generator technology. Therefore, they have an interest preventing failure and outages and in minimising the cost of operation. As an end user they will take on a consulting role within the project consortium in order to ensure that the end result in one that is attractive to operators of tidal energy farms.

Previous Experience Relating to the Role and Tasks: EnerOcean is a power company that operates a range of power generation facilities.

Benefits of Participation to the Organisation and to the Consortium: As operators of tidal generators, EnerOcean will reap the benefits of the condition monitoring system. This includes reduced outages, reduced maintenance costs, increased generator life and reduced cost per kWh of electricity.