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The latest Ferroscan system, Hilti PS300

Although Hilti has relatively recently introduced the latest and most advanced electromagnetic locating and detection system to date, the Hilti Ferroscan PS300, it has already powered our fleet.


The Hilti Ferroscan PS300, Hilti's latest location and detection system, provides a live view of construction scan results
Ferroscan PS300 concrete slab scanning

The manufacturer advertises the Ferroscan PS300 as a precision concrete scanner with a built-in display and the ability to measure concrete cover and bar diameter in real time while concrete scanning. Indeed, the new system, similar to e.g. the Proceq Profometer 650AI, allows for quick measurement of the rebar cover and determination of the spacing and a quick readout already during scanning. This is certainly a significant improvement in some cases and we will probably use this feature more than once. We were very impressed by the real-time bar diameter estimation function during line scanning. This is important because until now only after the analysis of image scans in the Profis Ferroscan software we could notice that e.g. every second bar is clearly thinner or the diameter of bars clearly changes from some point in the structure. Using the new functionality of the PS300 Ferroscan the analysis should be more accurate.


It is worth noting that in the new Ferroscan the maximum depth of detection of object position has increased and is now 200mm. Importantly, this depth applies to both image scanning (for the PS200, the maximum depth for line scanning was 180mm) and line scanning (for the PS200, the maximum was 100mm). As is not difficult to see, while with image scanning we are talking about a very small difference from the previous model of Ferroscan, with line scanning the maximum depth of detection of rebar of Ferroscan PS300 has doubled.


The scanning resolution is also better. Hilti the manufacturer of the locating and detection systems states that the older model of the Ferroscan PS200S rebar scanner is able to recognize individual bars with a spacing of ≥36mm and when the spacing/cover ratio is ≥2:1, in the case of the PS300 the minimum spacing at which the system is able to recognize individual bars is 30mm and the spacing/cover ratio is ≥1.2:1.


The Hilti Ferroscan PS300 provides a real-time overview of the scanning results of the structure
Hilti Ferroscan PS300 live view of results

Then, can we say that the Ferroscan PS300 is better than its predecessor? In many aspects it is, but what is worrying is the increase in size and weight of the device in relation to the PS200S scanner. So far we were able to perform scans starting about 7.5cm from an obstacle, the PS300 simply needs more space because of the integrated display. It is also worth noting that the PS200S starts the scan from the axis of the device while the PS300, like the X-Scan PS1000 GPR, starts the scan standing completely in front of the scanned field. What does it mean in practice? There are two issues worth mentioning. The first is that the PS300 needs more space to make the scan. To make an image scan of 60x60 cm with Ferroscan PS200 the absolute minimum is a free field of 75x75 cm, whereas with Ferroscan PS300 this is already 92x92 cm. The second issue is the scanning of elements such as columns or beams. Since the PS200S scanner starts the measurement from the axis of the device, a linear scan of such elements can be performed by starting and ending the scan with two wheels on the element and two in the air. With the PS300 Ferroscan such a maneuver is simply not possible. This is where Profometer 650AI has a huge advantage: its small measuring cart (detachable) and a small probe allow measurements in hard-to-reach places.


However, as the Hilti Ferroscan PS300 has only been with us for a relatively short time we have not yet had time to get to know it as well as its predecessor the PS200 and therefore it is hard to say whether the new features, increased detection depth and resolution will prove as useful as we think and whether we will get over the increased size and different way of starting the scan.


We are confident that another eddy concrete structural scanner in our fleet, in addition to the older PS200 model and its counterpart from the Proceq, Profometer 650AI, will allow us to provide structural scanning services at the highest level.

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