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Custom Crawlers for Pipe Inspection & Abandonment

Inspection and abandonment of pipeline in remote reaches have historically been a challenge, with many technical advances failing to provide adequate robust solutions. Industries such as the oil and gas, petrochemical, sub-sea and hydroelectric have been eyeing the implications of advancing robotics, but up until recently, such technology had yet to progress sufficiently to provide a realistic alternative to traditional inspection methods.

First-generation robotic crawlers have been available for many years. However, their limitations were many, including:

  • A short inspection range
  • An inability to inspect smaller diameter pipelines
  • Slow travel speeds
  • Limited negotiation of terrain and obstacles such as pipeline debris, steep inclines and declines, box culverts and tank bases

Nexxis’ long range crawler systems are a revolutionary new generation of robotic inspection crawlers being utilised in a variety of industries that require long-range, expanded inspection capabilities.

How do our crawlers improve efficiency and lower operating costs?

The Mark II version of the VT 150is hailed as an ‘On Demand Speciality System’ that has a far longer range and is significantly more adaptable than any other remote visual inspection (RVI) robotic on the market today. This is possible thanks to Inuktun’s unique technology that’s been developed specifically to provide effective solutions for industries that necessitate regular pipeline inspection and eventual abandonment.

Major breakthroughs have meant that many of the biggest issues with RVI have been overcome. This has allowed for advances such as:

  • A far greater inspection range: The crawler has a range of 1,000 metres (more than twice the distance of the company’s previous version) and can do so in a single deployment
  • Can operate in far smaller pipework: As narrow as 150mm in diameter
  • The ability to negotiate obstacles and inclines: Both steep inclines and declines, as well as various obstructions such as debris, blockades and other barriers within a hostile environment thanks to increased mobility with speeds of up to nine metres per minute
  • Real-time camera inspection: With an onboard PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) inspection camera, powerful lighting and optional fibre optic tether for high bandwidth devices bring the ability for highly detailed inspections. These can be viewed remotely and video copies retained for record and verification
  • Remotely operated camera/sensor raise motor: Allowing for inspection of the most challenging applications
  • Advanced integration: With NDT sensors, retrieval tools, laser profilers, sonar, HD cameras and more
  • Foam application is abandoned pipe: Integrated ‘spray bot’ provides advanced capabilities for making safely abandoned pipelines.


The realities and practicalities of using the Versatrax 150™ Mark II within the remote inspection environment

One of the greatest advantages of the VT 150™ Gen II crawler is its practicality. The sophistication of the software combined with the ruggedness of the robot and high mobility has resulted in a very real solution to what was a significant gap in the market. The ability to penetrate a kilometre in distance in a single deployment is game-changing. This, combined with the new ROS based control software, provides a formula by which operators can easily and efficiently carry out necessary inspection and abandonment tasks with instant records and verifications supplied of work completed.

The use of such an RVI negates the need for costly downtime, provides a superior level of inspection and can do so in a safer manner and far shorter timescale than that of traditional methods.

Companies that would benefit from such advanced technology, such as the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, will be eager to investigate the possibilities such an advanced crawler brings. Nexxis is one of the leading suppliers of such cutting-edge equipment worldwide, with offices in Houston, Singapore and Australia. With an ethos of working with their customers to define efficient bespoke solutions that address specific company needs has led to them becoming the go-to provider for those requiring the ultimate in inspection, testing and measuring equipment.

To discover how this custom approach could help progress your organisation to the next level get in touch now.

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