New inspection methods presented on demo day

New, innovative technologies regularly enter the market to help conduct inspections better and more safely. Before these technologies can be used by Sitech and customers, they must be tested. That is where the Innovative Inspection Methods Platform comes in. On October 21, 2021 the Platform organized a demo day. Those involved in the Innovative Inspection Methods Platform took the opportunity to look at a number of new technologies. Innovations Project Manager Wilbert Derks from Sitech gives us an insight.

1) Locating gas leaks

Wilbert: "The innovation offered by Atlas was so impressive that our Fire Brigade & Security business unit has proceeded with procurement. It is an ATEX-certified device that allows you to detect gas leaks in plants. The device shows where the gas leak is and how much gas is escaping. We can use this proven technology, for example,, at start-up after a turn around." 

2) Industrial cleaning

There were also technologies that built on innovations that we already use to a greater or lesser extent. For example, Peeters presented two innovative technologies in the field of industrial cleaning. Wilbert: "One such innovation was a cleaning robot that means that people don't have to enter a vessel or tank to clean it. This is done by a robot, a kind of mini-tank on tracks. It enters through a manhole to loosen any foreign matter by means of a screw and a high-pressure washer. The dirt released is then sucked up and disposed of. Peeters is also involved in laser cleaning. We have recently successfully deployed this technology in the ammonia plants."

3) 3D laser scanning

Another interesting innovation comes from Hexagon. "It builds on the indirect visual inspections used to measure cracks or holes in walls," says Wilbert. "The difference is that this technology uses 3D laser scanning instead of a camera. What's special about this is that it is about a hundred times more accurate than our current 3D laser scanning equipment. It allows deterioration of a wall or pipe to be mapped to an accuracy of 20 microns."

4) SPOT the robot dog

Wilbert: We also looked at the robot "dog" SPOT from Boston Dynamics. He can perform simple inspection tasks during plant rounds, to supplement the work of technicians, operators or the fire department. You can attach various sensors to SPOT, such as for inspections or gas detection. SPOT is still being brought to development maturity by TNO. Intelligence needs to be added, so that the robot dog can find his way when he encounters unexpected things like scaffolding. We're going to test this technology next year at the Chemelot site."

Want to know more?
Are you interested in one or more of these innovations? Please contact Wilbert Derks at wilbert.derks@sitech.nl

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