Modernization of Maintenance Repair Operations for Sustainability

S. Sprentall, D. Sprentall
SurClean Inc.,
United States

Keywords: automation, autonomousrobotics, laserwelding, lasercleaning, datacollection


Corrosion impacts every facet of our lives. It costs $2.2 Trillion USD annually which worldwide is over 3% of the world's GDP. Large industrial assets – Airplanes, Bridges, Ships, Tank Farms, etc, require routine maintenance to combat the impact of corrosion. Now is the time for business owners to seriously consider our environment and sustainability practices. The impact of corrosion on the environment causes plant shutdowns, waste of valuable resources, loss or contamination of product, reduction in efficiency, costly maintenance, and expensive overdesign. It can also jeopardize the safety and inhibit technological progress. IMO (International Maritime Organization), Environmental Defense Fund and EPA have validated current maintenance completed using traditional methods of chemicals, sand, grit, and high-pressure water blast equipment contribute to the destruction of our ecosystems. Air and water quality must be addressed to slow down climate change. Laser ablation machine tools have a positive impact in these areas. Lasers are considered highly sustainable, green technology, and now blue technology. However, not one laser system can do it all. Laser power and laser type combined with various optical components, sensors, and even automation are keys to successful implementation in these modernization efforts globally. Automation combined with the use of various system sensors, software, and controls integrated with laser ablation machine tools, inspection equipment, and automated painting equipment, provides economical and environmentally friendly solutions to airframe, ship hulls, railroad cars, and other large assets maintenance. The Maintenance Cell of the Future is a collaborative effort between global OEMs and innovative small businesses. The report will include data on emissions, hazmat reduction, operator safety, and how automating these tasks reduces overall operational costs.