Mix Tank Inspection Made Easy with Zenith
The dangers of confined space inspection are many, but that’s not the only challenge that global company, Proctor & Gamble were keen to overcome. Traditional inspection of chemical mix tanks located in their many global sites was costly and slow, not to mention failing to provide the level of accuracy that they were keen to achieve.
The company approached innovative robotic and ariel inspection vehicle experts, Interactive Aerial, to see what could be done to streamline the process.
The trial inspection was to be carried out in Iowa City on a pair of mix tanks. The company has to routinely carry out regular inspections on such tanks across all their plants. Because they’re all regulated in size and shape, a successful trial would then be rolled out across their outlets.
The aim of the trial to achieve two goals:
- Cost savings
- Increase safety
The challenges of chemical mix tank inspection are many. The traditional methods have involve confined space entry by inspectors and all the associated challenges this brings. These can be summarised as:
- Dangerous human entry into confined spaces
- Asset shutdown
- Human error when collecting inspection data
- Difficulty in adequately inspecting beneath agitator blades within the tank
- A costly decontamination process post-inspection that costs thousands of dollars each time
Proctor & Gamble had attempted various camera inspection models before, none of which had adequately addressed all their requirements.
This type of inspection is exactly what the cutting-edge tool, the Zenith 4K Vertical Inspection Pan Tilt Zoom Camera, has been designed for. Its construction means that Zenith can be optimised to overcome virtually any enclosed space configuration.
Zenith is a stabilised camera unit that hangs from a tripod. The entry point to the confined space can be either directly below or offset, thanks to the unique design. In this case, while the entry point was relatively simple, the requirement to inspect beneath the agitator blades warranted some of Zenith’s more bespoke advantages.
Fitted with advanced 4K video capture and 18MP images with 30x optical zoom, the free-spinning camera easily captured high quality data. Using extension tubes that were held by the angled gantry system and 180o gimbal tilt, Zenith was extended to capture the required images of the agitator blades. They also returned photos of the bottom of the mix tank.
The results returned exceeded the requirements.
- They provided 100% coverage of the inside of the asset
- Zenith removed the need for inspectors to enter the confined space
- The clarity of the images and 4K video was far superior to previous inspections
- No decontamination was necessary post-inspection.
- The inspection was carried out in a fraction of the usual time – only taking less than 30 minutes to inspect both tanks
- The savings were multiple, thanks to dramatically reduced downtime and process costs
Proctor & Gamble determined that the trial was a success. Zenith met all the demands, over-delivering on expectations. As such, they consider the technology to be a viable alternative to the traditional confined space entry that’s been the norm up until now.
Zenith is a wonderful example of how technology is streamlining many NDT tasks. You can read here how we used the Zenith to inspect coal silos and to overcome HD towers inspection challenges. Progressive equipment provider, Nexxis, is committed to helping their clients take advantage of such advanced devices. Their solutions-based procurement model is just one reason that companies across Australia and beyond are turning to this refreshing way of embracing innovation.