TDX cranescan accidents are occurring with increasing frequency in ports and the construction industry around the world. Failure of a structural or mechanical component of a crane can usually be associated with materials, as well as fabrication related problems or inadequate structural maintenance. Failures of the cranes’ structural parts unavoidably lead to serious damages or total collapses; these accidents are often followed by very high financial losses, from £125,000 up to £1.25 million per accident, and serious injuries and / or fatalities. In 2008, there was a reported 401 crane accidents in Europe, of which 209 were related to structural failure, resulted in a total of 217 deaths and 353 injuries.
Apart from economic and social impacts, crane accidents can have significant environmental impacts. The damage of containers from an accident, carrying dangerous substances such as toxic waste, chemical compounds, or even nuclear materials may result in these substances being released into the environment. Crane owners and users constantly face these economic, social and environmental problems. As a result, they have to bear high inspection costs in order to decrease the risks of structural damage, injury, fatality, and associated costs. Inspection of cranes costs 0.8% to 3.6% of the capital cost at purchase and on an annual basis. Thus, due to limitations of current crane inspection methods, crane owners and users need a reliable, cost-effective and embedded NDT inspection system to continuously monitor the structural health of cranes, without the need for human intervention.
TDX cranescan aims to demonstrate a commercial automated, continuous structural health monitoring system (SHM) for large cranes (tower, gantry, mobile etc.) based on advanced Acoustic Emission (AE) and Long Range Ultrasonics (LRU) technology. The system will be able to identify structural integrity faults (with 90% detection efficiency and monitoring of crack sizes up to 10mm) before they lead to crane failure.