Robotic tank inspection technology with safety benefits

Friday, 27 February, 2015

Furphy Engineering is introducing to Australia a Robotic Tank Inspection Technology that is claimed to increase safety, reduce risk and improve the accuracy of tank inspections. The robotic solution will be launched at AUSPACK 2015, which is being held from 24 to 27 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Robotic testing replaces the manual process using abseilers, scaffolding and rope to conduct an inspection. It also reduces the number of contractors required to conduct a manual tank inspection, as only one controller is required. As all the work is done by the robot, it eliminates the need for individuals to work at height or within confined spaces to conduct inspections.

The climbing robot technology provides remote access, to view the interior surface of a tank. It captures high-definition video to identify surface cracks, fatigue or maintenance requirements.

While the system was originally developed for the dairy industry, the company says the technology could provide benefit to any industry that uses tanks for liquid storage. It is particularly suited to applications with food-based products, consumables, pharmaceuticals or any products with hygiene requirements.

The robot features sliding vacuum pads and a Hi-Grip caterpillar track. It is computer controlled to move up, down and around the interior tank surface, adapting to different surface conditions.

The camera system captures and records high-definition video footage of the tank surface, to identify cracks or any maintenance concerns. The video footage provides an accurate assessment of the interior surface; allows playback or reassessment of potential problems; and removes the potential for human error.

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