The US Navy has awarded an initial contract to implement advanced manufacturing capabilities by using robotics for weld inspections.
Robotics and software firm Gecko Robotics has been awarded the new contract, which will support the US$132bn (£105.9bn) nuclear submarine programme.
The company will use its weld inspection and data capabilities to help the navy reduce its inspection times and cut costs during manufacturing.
It likewise hopes to provide new datasets to improve in-service maintenance cycles.
“We are proud to grow our partnership with the US Navy beyond helping get ships through the maintenance process faster, to providing advanced manufacturing capabilities for the Columbia-class programme,” said Jake Loosararian, CEO and co-founder, Gecko Robotics.
“Demand from customers for more data on the front-end of the manufacturing process to help implement better predictive maintenance is growing – and we’re looking forward to starting this work with the Columbia sub programme.”
Nonprofit integrator BlueForge Alliance will support the implementation of Gecko’s robotic digital weld inspections to assess the integrity of welds during the manufacturing process.
Digitising this process and weld inspection results is intended to transform a key manufacturing process for the programme and free up the skilled workforce for higher value tasks.
Other benefits of digitisation include eliminating the risk of unknown weld conditions.
The latest developments in robotics and automated technologies will be on show at the Robotics and Automation Exhibition, which will be held on 19-20 March 2024 at the NEC Birmingham. Register now to attend the UK’s biggest exhibition dedicated to robotics and automation.