Everything You Need To Know About Pipe Inspection Robots
Robots are being welcomed into the world of pipe inspection. An often dirty and dangerous task, regular evaluation of small and large pipelines is an essential element of many industries – including Oil & Gas, Mining, Nuclear, Subsea and more.
The risks to human inspectors include:
- Fire risk
- Explosion risk
- The need to access non-oxygen atmospheres
In addition, human inspection not only necessitates a lengthy shutdown of assets, but also the preparation to make it safe to enter. There’s also the need for adequate insurance to cover such a task.
While the Australian gas pipeline industry has an excellent safety record compared with the rest of the world, multiple incidents still continue to occur. Any technology that improves the safety of those who work within such industries is to be embraced.
Benefits of Pipe Inspection Robots
As well as such safety implications, the following covers the many reasons that pipe inspection robots are proving so valuable.
- Accuracy: Robots provide reliable and consistent data every time. They don’t suffer from human error and are able to highlight any areas that need addressing with pinpoint accuracy. This means that maintenance and repair can be easily planned and carried out, as engineers don’t need to carry out any extra work determining the compromised areas.
- Longer inspections: Human inspectors can’t spend limitless time within a pipe. However, no such restraints apply to a pipe inspection robots. This means inspections can be carried out in a much shorter time period.
- Flexibility: Today’s advanced pipe inspection robots can be adapted to fit a variety of pipe sizes. From 15 cms (6 inches) to 91 cms (36 inches) in diameter, pipe crawlers can work in all non-oxygen atmospheres, including water. The best can also operate at water depths up to 50 metres.
- Can inspect multiple materials: Including HDPE, concrete, cast iron, corrugated steel, PVC, brick and clay.
- Fully portable: Making them easy to transport from site to site. Negates the need for an onsite power supply as inspection robots are battery powered.
- Short setup time & downtime: No need to shut down production for lengthy periods of time and the associated loss of profits.
- Remote operation: In some cases, inspectors don’t even need to be on-site! The crawler can be operated from a remote location, with the full ability to stop, start, zoom in, pan, tilt and more.
- Bespoke add-on equipment: Need larger wheels or tracks to cope with rough terrain? These can easily be changed to suit any environment. Other plug-and-play add-ons include digital video recorders, elevating arms, rear-facing cameras, spacer kits, grit wheels, digital video glasses…
- Easy data upload: The inspection data is captured instantly and uploaded to your chosen platform for ease of use.
Pipe inspection robots can, quite simply, be custom created to suit virtually any pipe inspection requirements. As their use becomes more widespread, so does the need for every operation to embrace such technology. The cost and time implications are dramatic. Those who fail to take advantage face a very real danger of running a less cost-effective operation than their competitors. In today’s cut-throat market, every opportunity to increase safety and productivity, whilst lowering outgoings, is certainly something that must be considered.
Contact Nexxis for the Latest in Pipe Inspection Robotic Technology
Equipment procurement specialists, Nexxis, are at the forefront of such innovation. They were one of the first suppliers to bring robust, proven technology to their customers. Well known for offering a one-of-a-kind flexible, solutions-based, approach to equipment, Nexxis is fast-becoming the go-to provider for all kinds of inspection equipment to industries such as Oil & Gas and Mining.