For over 90 years, Olympus has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the industrial market. Olympus provides an advanced portfolio of innovative test, measurement and imaging instruments for all market requirements. As one of the biggest and most respected providers of complete inspection solutions − from remote visual inspection to microscopy, ultrasound and eddy current array technology − Olympus’ extensive product portfolio combines world-class technology with in-depth knowledge of the industrial market segments.

Wind turbine inspections

Regular inspection of the different key components of wind turbines is critical to ensure a high uptime and return on investment − as well as to comply with safety standards and regulations. Different components, such as blades, gearboxes and towers, require a range of techniques and equipment to make sure an inspector can inspect potential damage fast, safely and with a high probability of detection.

Tower inspections: not a tall order

Turbine towers regularly suffer from damage such as corrosion, cracks, lack of fusion and porosity. These types of damage are not always visible from the outside. Two technologies that are particularly relevant to tower inspections are ultrasonic phased array and eddy current testing.

Phased array inspection is a convenient method to test for cracks and corrosion, providing considerable time savings compared to radiography. Olympus’ OmniScan phased array flaw detector enables easy data archiving as well excellent imaging capabilities. Eddy current testing allows detection of cracks and weld defects, replacing time-consuming techniques such as penetrant and magnetic particle testing.

A look inside the gearbox

The combination of high stresses and fast-moving components makes the bearings and gear teeth inside the gearbox vulnerable to damage. However, due to the large size of the gearbox, critical components are often hard to access − even for visual inspection.

In order to inspect components such as the planetary stage gears, videoscopes need to be able to cope with the dark, oily conditions deep inside the gearbox. To see clearly under these conditions, Olympus has developed the IPLEX RX videoscope. The IPLEX RX features intelligent illumination and intuitive maneuverability, ensuring fast inspection with a high probability of detection. It can also be fitted with a special oil-clearing tip adapter to avoid blurry images due to lens contamination.

Inspecting blades, whatever the weather

During the lifetime of a turbine, blades are exposed to harsh weather conditions; lightning strikes in particular can cause severe damage to the blades. Damage such as delamination and debonding often occurs near the tip of the blade, requiring rope-access inspection.

To detect hidden faults in hard-to-reach locations, Olympus has developed a range of portable inspection solutions including conventional ultrasound, phased array ultrasound and bond testing. For example, the highly compact EPOCH 6LT ultrasonic flaw detector can detect delamination quickly and reliably. It can be strapped to a harness or leg if required – and with a weight of less than 1 kg it is well suited for rope-access inspections.

Wind turbine wellbeing

Industrial inspection ensures safe operation and improves return on investment. Olympus’ extensive expertise in optics, electronics and materials science has produced a comprehensive range of inspection tools that benefit inspection workflows in a range of industries. In the wind power industry, Olympus’ solutions for remote visual inspection, ultrasonic testing, bond testing and eddy current inspection help to detect damage fast and accurately, improving uptime and saving costs on repairs.