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Case Study: Panther Crawler Debris Removal

For inspections in sewers, storm drains, hydroelectric penstocks & fish bypass lines, petrochemical & power plant pipelines and other difficult to access pipes in the oil and gas industry the Panther Crawler is an ideal solution.

In the following case study, an operator had left a nut bolt welding rod within some complex pipe geometry that the crawler would need to successfully navigate in order to successfully retrieve the debris. The Nexxis team had to consider RVI limitations of size, distance, depth, and resistance.


The Challenge

There were several challenges to overcome in the execution of this project. Firstly, the team had a short timeline to deliver a solution that would fit all the client’s needs. The crawler had to travel long distances and traverse various geometries of the pipework.

The team needed to ensure that the crawler could be remotely operated to reduce risk for the human technicians and be cost-effective. Ensuring the inspection was completed on time and within budget was critical.  We needed to guaranteed an accurate inspection to ensure the cleanliness of the pipe and successful removal of the debris was complete.


The Solution

Climbing a challenging section of pipe required a reduction of weight and needed a balance of strength to support the tether weight and crawler itself, so the Panther crawler was selected which allowed the team to overcome this.

Risk assessment ruled out the wireless options. However, the development of a tether capable of 160kg breaking strain was developed and manufactured as part of the solution. The risk of equipment stuck in a pipe far outweighed the wireless benefits which led to a clear decision moving forward.

The video streaming and data collection requirements were achieved and fed through a Nexxis tether. This came complete with a distance counter to ensure accurate measurement on depth within the pipe.


The Outcome

The design criteria was initially achieved, tested and then deployed to the site. The first inspection was set out to confirm (visually) that the nut bolt welding rod was in place. But thanks to the addition of rare earth magnets to the Panther’s FOSAR system the operator could simply connect the magnet and drive out.

Offering full modularity, the Panther crawler can be configured to suit small or large diameter pipes, and ductwork. Small size is a key feature with options that include multiple cameras, longer tethers, advanced reporting software and image enhancement systems for endless possibilities.

Nexxis works with customers to determine the right solution for their needs – something that naturally changes over time. Such customised solutions are essential to streamline maintenance costs and increase that all-essential bottom line. Our commitment to advancing technology and solving your testing challenges is what makes us unique.


Discover more about robotic inspections or contact us today to see how we can best help your business.

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