Using an ROV Drone to Spot Tank Problems Early

Image shows the risk of not maintaining water tanks.

Reflect on the news headline depicted above, detailing a tragic incident where a water tank collapsed, tragically claiming two lives. Such catastrophes underscore the lurking dangers of unchecked corrosion in tanks.

Why Corrosion is a Big Deal

Picture a beautiful wooden ship, its hull subjected to constant exposure to saltwater. As the wood deteriorates due to this relentless assault, the ship’s seaworthiness diminishes. In much the same way, when substantial storage tanks, such as the one shown, undergo corrosion:

The Risk is Leakage:

Corrosion can result in perforations, posing a threat of content leakage. Beyond the immediate environmental and safety concerns, leaks due to corrosion also introduce a significant compliance issue. Regulatory bodies often impose strict guidelines and standards for the containment and handling of certain materials. When a tank experiences corrosion-induced leaks, it may violate these regulations, potentially leading to fines, legal consequences, and damage to an organisation’s reputation. This underscores the importance of addressing corrosion not only for safety and environmental reasons but also for maintaining compliance with industry regulations.

Weakened Structure is the Result:

Excessive corrosion doesn’t just affect the tank’s contents; it also jeopardizes the tank’s structural integrity. As the metal deteriorates, it loses its ability to bear the weight of the stored materials and withstand external pressures, such as wind or seismic forces. This compromised structural strength can lead to catastrophic failures, including tank collapse or rupture. In addition to the immediate dangers this poses, the aftermath often involves extensive property damage, environmental contamination, and potentially even injuries or loss of life.

Escalating Costs are a Consequence:

Addressing corrosion-related issues in a tank is not only about repairing surface damage. In cases of advanced corrosion, the costs can escalate dramatically. Repairing or replacing heavily corroded tanks involves extensive labor, materials, and downtime. Furthermore, the process may require the removal and proper disposal of hazardous materials and the implementation of rigorous safety measures. Consequently, the overall expenditure to rectify a severely corroded tank far exceeds the cost of regular maintenance and early intervention. It’s a stark reminder that investing in corrosion prevention and detection is a financially prudent and responsible choice for any organisation.

Detecting Corrosion Early to Prevent Spread

Image of Heavy Corrosion on an Internal Wall

Corrosion is a gradual process, and if identified early, its progression can be halted, ensuring the tank’s long-term durability. However, inspecting large tanks is a challenging task. This is where the effectiveness of an ROV Drone truly shines.

The Role of an ROV Drone

An ROV Drone is an underwater robot with cameras. They can:

Safe and Comprehensive Inspection:

An ROV Drone, equipped with advanced camera systems, provides a safe and comprehensive inspection of a tank’s interior. With its remarkable precision, it effortlessly navigates every nook and cranny, even accessing the most hard-to-reach spaces. This ensures that no section of the tank remains unchecked, a level of thoroughness that traditional methods, such as manual inspections or stationary cameras, often miss due to their limitations. Furthermore, the ROV Drone eliminates the need for personnel confined space access, internal ladders, or power cords. It not only captures detailed, high-resolution views but also meticulously documents even the most challenging spots, paving the way for a rigorous engineering assessment.

Rapid Problem Identification:

One of the key advantages of using an ROV Drone is its ability to identify issues swiftly. When deployed in the early stages of tank deterioration, an ROV Drone can detect initial signs of corrosion or damage. These subtle indications may not be apparent during visual inspections or may be hidden in concealed areas. By spotting these issues early, intervention becomes timely and effective. This early detection can prevent the corrosion from progressing to more severe levels, ultimately saving both time and resources.

Efficiency and Cost-Savings:

Employing an ROV Drone for tank inspections often proves to be a highly efficient and cost-effective solution. Traditional inspection methods may require extensive manpower, equipment, and time to achieve thorough results. In contrast, an ROV Drone can swiftly navigate the tank’s interior, capturing comprehensive data efficiently. Moreover, the cost of operating an ROV Drone is often lower than the cumulative expenses associated with traditional inspection methods. Reduced labour costs, minimal equipment requirements, and decreased downtime contribute to significant cost savings over the long term.

The Cost of Waiting

When we initially joined forces with this client, it was glaringly evident that the tank had already deteriorated significantly. This delay in addressing the corrosion issue has come at a cost. Repairing and mitigating the advanced corrosion now demands considerably more resources and time. This serves as a stark reminder of the financial and operational consequences that can arise when corrosion-related problems are not promptly addressed. It underscores the critical importance of early intervention and the utilisation of tools like the ROV Drone to prevent such costly delays in the future.

Wrapping It Up

The state of this tank serves as a poignant reminder of the vital significance of conducting regular and advanced inspections. In today’s industrial landscape, where assets are the backbone of operations, safeguarding their integrity is paramount. Corrosion and damage, when left unchecked, not only pose immediate threats but also incur substantial long-term costs.

With the advent of cutting-edge technologies like the ROV Drone, we are now better equipped than ever to support our clients in this endeavor. These advanced inspection tools empower us to delve deep into the heart of critical infrastructure, providing comprehensive assessments that leave no stone unturned.

Don’t Let Corrosion Catch You Off Guard!

Book your next tank inspection with us to guarantee the safety, efficiency, and durability of your assets. Take action promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating! Get in touch with us today!

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