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Project - Automation/Process Control

Syscade project

The Syscade project, which recently won the jury and public prizes at the Wap'Innov competition, consists of developing a mobile laboratory for the inspection and characterisation of nuclear waste

Project context

For many years, a lot of radioactive waste was put into drums with little referencing. Following the legislative evolution and the will to submit to a stricter environmental management in order to guarantee viable storage solutions, this historical waste must be correctly characterised. The objectives of the project are to analyse and limit the environmental impact of radioactive waste.

Supported by the Technord group and the company DSI, the Syscade project is developing a mobile system for characterising this waste from both a physical and radiological point of view.

Physical characterisation is carried out by taking X-ray images to identify the nature and size of the waste in the storage drum; non-destructive radiological characterisation is carried out using high-resolution HPGe probes.

The challenge for DSI and Technord was to pack all the necessary technology into a 40-inch container inside a mobile truck.

Solution proposed by Technord

Technord’s teams worked on the development of a compact, 100% automated system including a control room and operator controls.

The proposed architecture includes a Rockwell Automation solution for drum conveying and analysis system control.

The technical solution we have implemented ensures :

  • conveying the drums
  • the reading and identification of the drums thanks to a QR-Code linked to a database
  • the weighing of the drums
  • opening and closing of the doors of the measuring room
  • starting and stopping x-ray and gamma-ray measurements

To achieve this management, we carried out the studies, supplied and programmed :

  • an ESXI server with Rockwell’s FTView supervisor
  • a Rokwell Control Logix PLC
  • Rockwell Kinetix servo drives for the management of the table axes
  • Rockwell Powerflex variable speed drives for conveyor control
  • Festo drives for x-ray shutter and door management
  • Keyence sensor for barcode reading of the label

This project mobilised the team of our Process Control department as well as our Low Voltage department (electrical studies, creation of electrical cabinets and wiring in the 40-foot mobile container).

Project gain

The implementation of a 100% automated control system for the analysis of radioactive waste drums allows :

  • avoid opening the drums and therefore any risk of radioactive contamination for the operator
  • rapid inspection (less than one minute)
  • inspection of the drum from all angles thanks to the drum rotation system

The results of the Syscade project make it possible to analyse and limit the environmental impact of radioactive waste. They make it possible to determine the degree of danger and therefore the way in which it can be sorted, stored in the long term or even treated.

We are very proud and happy to contribute in this way to our objectives of respecting our environment and the well-being of future generations.

To discover the Syscade project in pictures: Wap’innov: Syscade, a mobile unit to characterise nuclear waste (

The project is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Walloon Region. It is labelled by the MecaTech cluster.

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