Nov 9, 2020

Dhvani Research: enhancing NDE performance

William Girling
2 min
Dhvani is striving to become a world leading authority of research, development, integration and training for advanced non-invasive diagnostics
Dhvani is striving to become a world leading authority of research, development, integration and training for advanced non-invasive diagnostics...

Recently featured in our full article on non-destructive testing company Waygate Technologies, Indian tech hub Dhvani Research & Development (Dhvani) was highlighted by Arungalai Anbarasu, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, as a particularly strong partner.

“We’ve been working with Dhvani for a few years now and count them as a valued partner in our journey. Dhvani has access to a wide pool of resources, a strong track record in delivering ADR software and associated applications for x-ray, and their customer base includes top global brands.”

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Chennai, Dhvani leverages IITM, CNDE and ESCON technologies in the pursuit of its goal to become a world leading authority of research, development, integration and training for advanced non-invasive diagnostics. 

A keen imparter of sector specific knowledge, it offers both corporate and public training on topics ranging from digital NDE, ultrasonic guided waves, thermal imaging and more. The courses themselves are designed to be client specific and feature both practical and theory-based modules.

Originally a ‘spin-off’ of IIT Madras (Indian Institute of Technology Madras), Dhvani moves beyond its expertise by also possessing a broad portfolio of essential products and solutions:

Inspection

  • TAPS (Tank Annular Plate Scanner)
  • CUPS (Corrosion Under Pipe-support Scanner)
  • CRISP (Critical Region Inspection Scanner for Pipes)

Automated

  • TASS (Turnkey Automated Scanning System)
  • TraCSS (Transducer Characterisation & Scanning System)
  • SHRUTI (Scanning High Resolution Ultrasonic Testing & Imaging)

Software

  • SIMUT (Conventional and Phased Array Simulator)
  • SIMSONIC (Ray Based Ultrasonic Simulator)
  • SIMXRAY (A Ray Based software package for simulating the Digital X-ray Inspection)

Furthermore, Dhvani takes pride in its ability to combine unique models and elements to create a bespoke solution for its customers. This is enabled by a strategically developed partner ecosystem. “Dhvani connects its unique competencies in science and advance technology to create solutions that enhance and nourish performance,” said the company.

“Dhvani is incredibly flexible in its working arrangements and truly drives us to succeed on multiple fronts simultaneously; a nice contrast from hardware companies, which are used to more structured and therefore slower shifts,” added Anbarasu.

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Jun 14, 2021

Amazon test new technology to improve employee safety

Technology
Amazon
robots
Innovation
3 min
Amazon is testing new technologies in an effort to make handling packages safer for employees

At the Amazon Robotics and Advanced Technology labs in Boston, and Northern Italy, team members are testing and developing new technologies in order to help to make employees’ jobs safer, these include technologies that help move carts and packages through Amazon facilities.

Recently the safety of Amazon's warehouses has drawn scrutiny. On June 1, the Washington Post's Jay Greene and Chris Alcantara published findings from an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data showing Amazon's serious injury rates are nearly double those at other companies' facilities.

A spokesperson from Amazon said the company spent more than $1 billion last year on safety measures, and hired more than 6,200 employees to a group dedicated to workplace health and safety.

Motion-capture technology

One innovation being tested by Amazon, which is in early development, is the use of motion-capture technology to assess the movement of volunteer employees in a lab setting. These employees perform tasks that are common in many Amazon facilities, such as the movement of totes, which carry products through robotic fulfillment centers.

The motion-capture software enables Amazon scientists and researchers to more accurately compare data captured in a lab environment to industry standards rather than other modelling tools traditionally used by ergonomists.

“With this data, visualisations, and employee feedback, we are looking to identify relatively simple changes that can make a big impact,” said Kevin Keck, worldwide director of Advanced Technology at Amazon. “Something as simple as changing the position of handles on totes may help lower the risk of injuries to our employees at a massive scale.”

Autonomous Robots creating new paths to safety

In order to reduce the need for employees to reach up or bend down when retrieving items, Amazon is testing a new workstation system called “Ernie.” According to the company Ernie takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees, so they can remain in a more comfortable and stable position.

“We’re known for being passionate about innovating for customers, but being able to innovate with robotics for our employees is something that gives me an extra kick of motivation each day,” said Keck. “The innovation with a robot like Ernie is interesting because while it doesn’t make the process go any faster, we’re optimistic, based on our testing, it can make our facilities safer for employees.”

“Bert” is one of Amazon’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), and is being tested to autonomously navigate through facilities with Amazon-developed advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology. In the future, it is thought that an employee would be able to summon Bert to carry items across a facility. 

‘Scooter’ and ‘Kermit’ are two other robots that also operate autonomously, and are both transport cars. The carts are used to carry empty totes and packages through our facilities. 

In a blog post the company said: ‘By having Autonomously Guided Carts (AGCs) like Scooter and Kermit perform physical tasks, we believe we can make our facilities safer and enable our employees to focus on jobs that require their critical thinking skills. In addition, using an AGC like Scooter to pull carts through our facilities reduces the risk of strains on our employees, or even collisions. We currently plan to deploy Scooter to at least one Amazon facility this year.’ 

Amazon began using robotics in its facilities in 2012, and since then they have added more than 1 million jobs worldwide while simultaneously deploying 350,000 mobile drive unit robots. 

“The role robotics and advanced technology can play in not only innovating for customers, but helping make our facilities safer, is a massive motivation for me and my team,” said Keck. “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. By listening to them, innovating on their behalf, and driving new technologies into our facilities over the coming months and years, I’m confident we’ll make a big contribution to our goal of reducing recordable incidents by 50% by 2025.”

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