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Sensors (Basel). 2013 Sep 13;13(9):12345-74. doi: 10.3390/s130912345.

Sensors systems for the automation of operations in the ship repair industry.

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Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, TIC, Plaza del Hospital, 1, Cartagena 30202, Spain.


Hull cleaning before repainting is a key operation in the maintenance of ships. For years, a method to improve such operation has been sought by means of the robotization of techniques such as grit blasting and ultra high pressure water jetting. Despite this, it continues to be standard practice in shipyards that this process is carried out manually because the developed robotized systems are too expensive to be widely accepted by shipyards. We have chosen to apply a more conservative and realistic approach to this problem, which has resulted in the development of several solutions that have been designed with different automation and operation range degrees. These solutions are fitted with most of the elements already available in many shipyards, so the installation of additional machinery in the workplace would not be necessary. This paper describes the evolutionary development of sensor systems for the automation of the preparation process of ship hull surfaces before the painting process is performed. Such evolution has given rise to the development of new technologies for coating removal.

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