Drones Replace Ropes in Oil Tank Inspection



Vehicle inspection of a cargo oil tank is tough.  It is usually conducted by rope access technicians who are suspended on ropes to inspect the tank structure, focusing on areas of high stress such as stiffeners, brackets, bracing, webs and stringers.  The world’s first inspection of a cargo oil tank on an operational FPSO was completed by Cyberhawk Innovations on board the Gryphon FPSO owned and operated by Maersk Oil in the U.K. North Sea.  Like other FPSO operators, Maersk Oil has requirements to visually inspect cargo tanks for integrity, damage assessment and class certification.

One of Maersk Oil’s main priorities was to reduce the human risk factors by rope access which include working at height for sustained periods of time as well as working in confined spaces.  Inspecting the tank with Cyberhawk’s drone allowed Maersk Oil to undertake a quick and safe audit of the tank, in turn allowing them to identify and more efficiently plan for any possible contact based inspections in both this and other tanks, says Cyberhawk.  The inspection of the critical components of the tank was completed within a day.  It would usually take between three to four days for the same work-scope through rope access.

This time-saving and risk-free inspection technique can now be applied to all large internal tanks on vessels such as FPSOs, bulk carriers and tankers.

Source: Cyberhawk