Sonomatic are currently delivering a tank in-service robotic cleaning and inspection service in products including Crude Oil, Light Oils, Condensates and Water.
Robotic Tank Cleaning & Inspection
We use the latest technologies and support tools to ensure that all inspections are done accurately and efficiently. We are also developing a semi-autonomous robotics capability to further enhance visual inspection performance and efficiency.
Robotic Inspection of Storage Tanks
Storage tanks typically contain large volumes of valuable but potentially hazardous fluids. As such, inspection is a key element of the integrity management of storage tanks. The objective of the inspection is to provide information on the tank’s condition. This information should be such as to support effective integrity management decisions. Historically inspection of storage tanks has been reliant on man entry with the tank out of service.
Opening storage tanks for internal inspection is a lengthy and difficult process. Not only will the tank be unavailable during the internal inspection, but it must be drained and cleaned before entry is possible. There are also safety hazards associated with personnel entry for inspection. As such Remote Internal Inspection (RII) methods offer an attractive alternative as they can be conducted whilst the tank is in-service and do not require vessel entry.
Sonomatic’s inspection approach provides 100% coverage of the tank annular plate by SRUT testing / Franscan (AP) and is performed prior to in-service ultrasonic inspection. This approach allows the focussing of the tank robot deployed UT system into areas of the annular plate that have been highlighted as areas of interest by the SRUT inspection technologies.
SRUT is a screening technique. SRUT responds to corrosion that has suitably oriented facets to reflect energy back to the probe. Gradual thickness changes and isolated flaws are unlikely to be detected. In cases where corrosion is extensive, only the leading edge closest to the probe is likely to be detected.
SRUT technology is a screening tool, the method does not provide a quantitative direct measurement of wall thickness or the exact dimensions of defects/defective areas.
FranScan (AP) is a combination of SRUT GW (Short Range Guided Wave) and Phased Array for the inspection of annular plates and critical zone of storage tanks. Where with SRUT the annular plate can be screened up to 750-1000 mm, with the A-ring Application, detection and quantitative measurements can be given in the critical zone up to 100 mm from the inner shell wall, with other phased array applications quantitative measurements can be obtained to 150-200 mm.
Different robots and support technologies are considered according to tank type, control system and product.
- Hydraulic for heavy hydrocarbons.
- Electric for light hydrocarbons.
- Manual for light hydrocarbons.
- Ultrasonic Inspection
- ROV Visual for water tanks.
- Suction and discharge for cleaning.
- Acoustic localisation and navigation.
- Purge system for low LEL environments.
Sonomatic has considerable experience in the parallel field of Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) for pressure vessels. Our Engineering Services team have completed assessments and evaluation on over 1000 pressure vessels of various designs and functions. Sonomatic’s technicians are experienced in using a wide variety of inspection techniques on various assets in a multitude of environments.
The development engineering department of Sonomatic is capable of adapting existing scanners to various configurations or designing bespoke solutions when required. Sonomatic is also capable of providing Fitness for Service (FFS) assessments for tanks based on the design parameters.
Operator Controlled Pipe Inspection Robots
Sonomatic has several pipe inspection robots that are operator controlled. These robots are specially designed to access hard-to-reach areas and provide accurate and detailed inspection results. Our robots are equipped with advanced sensors and imaging technologies, providing you with detailed images of your tank’s internal components.
In addition to this, Sonomatic is developing a semi-autonomous robotics capability to further enhance visual inspection performance and efficiency.
The robotics development is at the industrial testing stage at our Aberdeen base. We are not ready to advertise our full capability currently, but please get in touch to discuss your robotics requirements and to hear more about our development in a dedicated 1-1 session.
Combining Data Science and Integrity Engineering
Sonomatic combines the art of data science with cutting-edge integrity engineering capabilities to create the most efficient and reliable inspection services. We use advanced analytics and data science techniques to help you better understand the condition of your tank and its components. Our team of experts also use the latest techniques to ensure that your tank is safe and compliant with all applicable regulations and standards.
Benefits of Robotic Inspection
Whether you’re a small startup business or a large mining company, saving on costs is regarded as universally important. Robotic inspections are more cost-effective than traditional methods of inspection, as they do not require the same level of personnel and can often be done quickly without the need for additional equipment.
Employing a pipe inspection robot can reduce the need for personnel to enter potentially hazardous areas, reducing the risk of injury or death due to hazardous conditions. The robots can also be operated from a safe distance, away from any potential danger.
A robotic crawler allows for faster completion times and increased accuracy when compared to traditional methods of inspection, saving both time and money in the long run than more standard pipe crawlers.
Automation allows for a much higher level of quality control than manual inspections, which means that any issues can be caught and addressed before they become major problems down the line.
Improved Data Analysis
Robotics technology allows for data collection and analysis on a much larger scale than traditional methods, which can provide valuable insights into system performance that would otherwise go unnoticed or unrecorded.