The non-destructive testing (NDT) industry has seen a lot of exciting improvements recently, with applicability spanning from railroads to constructions to aerospace. Robotics’ entrance into the NDT area led to the automation of formerly manual operations, resulting in increased efficiency, accuracy, and impartiality. The developing robotics market in industrial applications is concentrated on two remote-controlled innovations: drones and crawlers. Regarding water tank inspection services and capabilities, each technology has benefits and disadvantages, so there is a lot to evaluate when determining which technique or technology is perfectly suited for the inspection scope.
Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are remote-controlled aircraft that can fly without someone on board. They are frequently used to capture photos or videos from high altitudes. They are now commercially accessible at a relatively modest price, under $50 for a basic, amateur version. On the other hand, industrial inspection drones are far more complex, with high-resolution infrared cameras, sensors, and other technology.
Crawler robots perform exactly what their name implies: they crawl on the surface to examine infrastructures such as containers, furnaces, pressure vessels, pipes, and more. Crawlers are divided into two types: those that connect to ferrous material with magnetic tires and those that adhere to ferrous material with electromagnetic tracks. Crawlers, like drones, are outfitted with high-tech lenses, microphones, and algorithms. On the other hand, crawlers have more advanced ultrasonic testing (UT) data gathering than drones due to their unique surface contact.
Drones and Crawlers Have Similar Benefits
While drones and crawlers operate in quite different ways, they both have some of the same broad benefits, including but not limited to the following.
Keeps people out of potentially dangerous situations: Personnel safety is a concern in the oil and gas, pulp and paper, petrochemical, and power industries. Some problems are inherent in the industry, while others develop during routine maintenance or inspection. Tank inspection services personnel are exposed to harsh temperatures, high heights, and restricted space entrance during visual and physical inspections (CSE). There is a danger of malfunction, discomfort, or even death whenever an asset is reached using ladders, boom cranes, or other equipment. Drones and crawlers, in most circumstances, can remove or lessen the danger associated with these scenarios.
Inspections are completed faster than with manual NDT: Both robots are more efficient than conventional inspection techniques, although their efficiency varies depending on the breadth of the examination. Drones may swiftly hover above equipment collecting visual input if the coverage simply involves a visual assessment. However, state-of-the-art crawlers are ten times faster than conventional inspection methods if the scope demands quantitative thickness measurements and visual data.
On-site employees are not required as much: This benefit entails several features. Drones and crawlers, for example, are usually controlled by a small crew of one or two technicians. Furthermore, the inspection takes fewer man-hours to accomplish due to their efficiency. Robots can also reach vast heights and function without being seen. As a result, the number of people needed to install scaffolding, run boom lifts, and keep an eye on CSE is reduced.
Keeping downtime to a minimum: Reduced downtime, as well as the corresponding loss of performance and income, is critical for facilities. Drones and crawlers can both undertake non-intrusive inspections (NII) from the outside of the equipment while it’s in use, and crawlers can do so without lowering the surface temperature. Many businesses are looking at NII as a way to improve safety, the environment, and their bottom lines, and occupational inspection robots are ready to help.
Industrial inspection robots offer a strong advantage over conventional approaches because of these commonalities. On the other hand, drones and crawlers each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding which equipment is best appropriate for the breadth of the examination.…