The inspection intervals can vary depending on the application. For some it could be as frequent as once a day; for some others it could be monthly or yearly. Often, this is mandated and regulated by independent authorities.
Inspection today is a manual activity performed in the field, and poses several challenges. Imagine an offshore oil platform that has a hundred thousand bolts in hard-to-reach places that need to be inspected over a 5 year period. Or a wind turbine with giant blades, high above the ground.
Inspection and maintenance operations have to be performed by trained professionals, and often under hazardous conditions. The amount of time and money spent on inspecting and reporting on critical applications globally is staggering. Additionally, there is no simple way to measure the bolt preload; the integrity in the bolted joint can at best be estimated. Therefore, every year, there are a large number of incidents resulting in breakdowns, stoppages, or worse, human tragedy.
While this disruption resulting in lost revenue and adverse publicity is unacceptable, it has been hard and costly to avoid. Until now. StrainLabs’ sensor technology brings the Internet of Things to bolted joints and allows for smart monitoring – completely redefining inspection, maintenance and reporting.