30 Month Update

The design of the gantry system has been completed and in the next quarter, trials will be carried out to implement the integration of the hardware and software. The end-effector is also ready for integration, but further optimisation is underway to improve data acquisition and inspection speed, and to reduce its size and weight.

The control software for the robot arm will also be integrated into the AutoDISC system.


The AutoDISC software can now detect defects automatically, and the development of A-scan visualisation is complete. New techniques for C-scan imaging will be used in the optimisation of the image-thresholding techniques currently used.
Work has been focussed on the integration of hardware and software (control, signal processing and image processing) for operational trials of the AutoDISC gantry system. The offline analysis functionality has also been trialled. Partners were shown a video of the inspection system in operation. Further optimisation of the system, in terms of defect recognition (via ultrasonic testing) in real-life scenarios, will be performed in the coming three months.

18 Month Update

We are now 18 months into the AutoDISC project. The following update summarises the progress made since the Q5 Partner Meeting.

The Q6 Partner Meeting was held at the Plant Integrity facility in Cambridge; a demonstration of the gantry system software control was performed at InnoTecUK.

Plant Integrity and JackWeld have been collaborating on the ultrasound testing (UT) sensor development, along with the associated end-effector. JackWeld has produced a prototype end-effector comprising a number of modular interchangeable components. JackWeld has also developed a prototype water interface management system to provide the required coupling between the sensor and the test piece.

NetComposites has built a falling-weight impact rig to assist with the development of manufactured defects that accurately replicate delamination in composite materials. A new test sample (representative of a stringer section) including defects, has been produced for inspection trials.

KCC has collaborated with PI on the development of the UT probe software. KCC demonstrated wireless communication between the UT sensor and Windows/Android devices. KCC has also worked with InnoTecUK to define the point-to-point movement strategy of the gantry arm; and with BIC to process the data for visualisation of defects.

BIC has refined the filtering/processing/thresholding strategies and algorithms, and experimented with excitation frequencies and scan settings. Their work relating to signal processing and image analysis will be presented at the Aerospace Event 2016 (13-14 April 2016, Bristol), organised by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT).

The AutoDISC consortium continues to strengthen links with key industrial organisations to gain interest in the project, and to reinforce the ideas behind the technology being developed.

Q6 Update – LinkedIn Page

The AutoDISC project is now over a year in. Initial investigations into basic specifications have been concluded, and developments and refinements are progressing quickly.

Recently the Q5 partner meeting was held, and there follows a brief summary of the progress to date.

Innotec UK has installed the motor and control cables in the prototype gantry system and is further developing the gantry-control software. The end-effector control software has been successfully trialled.

Plant Integrity (PI) has specified the ultrasound-testing (UT) system, and Jackweld has developed a range of interesting end-effector designs. PI and Jackweld continue to collaborate on a novel water-coupling method.

NetComposites will use drop-weight impact tests to verify a new way of representing delamination in composite laminates. Further work will look at identifying disbonds and porosity in composites for UT.

KCC has developed software, including an Android app, to give more accurate calculation of object dimensions. Work continues with the integration of revised algorithms into the gantry-control and automatic defect recognition software.

BIC has improved the defect identification performance, through signal filtering/processing and image thresholding. It will present work relating to these developments at the Aerospace Event 2016 in Bristol, organised by the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT).

The consortium has also been strengthening links with industry partners to inform the direction of AutoDISC, and to reinforce the ideas behind the technology being developed.

You can also keep up with progress by visiting the project’s LinkedIn site, at