For Immediate Release
Date: August 20, 2014

Eric Yates
Newton Labs

Core Verification

Demonstration of Robotic In-Service Water Storage Tank
Survey and Detection System Scheduled for September 17

San Antonio, Texas - On the heels of their recently formed partnership for the robotic inspection of nuclear plant water storage tanks, IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc. (IHI) and Newton Labs (Newton) have scheduled an industry demonstration of the Inspector robot survey system to be held at the IHI facility in San Antonio, TX on Wednesday, September 17th.

The Inspector system is a semi-autonomous, highly maneuverable underwater robotic platform manufactured by Newton and operated by IHI as a service to plant owners to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Energy Institute for tank inspection in accordance with NEI 09-14. The Inspector system has the ability to position a variety of advanced nondestructive evaluation (NDE) sensors with an accuracy of 1/8th inch (3 mm) over 90% of a tank floor. The inspection can be performed with the tank full or dry.

The September 17th presentation will be conducted by representatives from both IHI and Newton and will include deployment and recovery of an Inspector robot through a standard-size 36 in. (91,4 cm) man-way of the IHI test tank, as well as demonstrate its ability to work underwater, without the need to drain a tank. Using the on-board underwater laser scanner, the robot will map the weld pattern of the tank floor plates. Phased array ultrasonic and eddy current sensors, mounted externally on separate indexed arms, will be used to precisely detect hidden "defects" on the test tank floor. Defect locations are correlated to the systems tank plate map and stored electronically for instant, or later review. This enables the robot to reliably return to the same point after moving on during a survey session and even after the robot has been removed from the tank and redeployed back in at a later date; especially valuable for trending analysis.

The vendor-sponsored demonstration is open to any managers and leads in the nuclear power industry that have an interest in, or the responsibility for, water storage tank maintenance. The demonstration will be held at IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc. located at 6766 Culebra Rd. San Antonio, TX 78238.

For those wishing to attend the demonstration, more information on presentation times and location, as well as transportation and lodging options, please contact Rosie Villagomez at 210.256.4108 or

About Newton Labs
Seattle based Newton Labs is a privately held manufacturer of machine vision, robotics, laser scanning and optical automation. Newton's products are designed to allow the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of computer technology to replace the human element in virtually every industry. Over its more than 20 year history Newton Labs has deployed more than 30,000 machine vision, robotic, laser scanning and automation systems worldwide.

About IHI Southwest
San Antonio based IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of IHI Corporation of Japan. IHI was formed in June 1999 as a spin-off from the NDE Services Department of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). IHI's staff consists of qualified, experienced engineering and examination personnel. All of IHI's examiners are trained, qualified, and certified in the appropriate methods and on the applicable equipment in accordance with IHI procedures and client specific guidelines. IHI maintains a full-time staff of NDE examiners, which allows us to maintain the level of quality and productivity vital to the success and cost-effectiveness of our programs at plants around the world.

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