Bristol based technology developer Inductosense, has developed a robotic crawler for tank thickness monitoring, known as the WAND-Crawler. The remote monitoring solution was developed in collaboration with robotics solutions provider Advanced Mechanical Systems. The WAND-Crawler obtains thickness readings using the existing ultrasonic WAND technology; WAND sensors are permanently installed on a structure providing accurate, repeatable wall thickness data that can be obtained both conveniently and cost-effectively.
The WAND-Crawler has been designed so that a WAND handheld data collector is readily inserted into the crawler housing. The WAND-Crawler is then guided remotely to a permanently installed WAND sensor using a remote-control station equipped with live video feed. The user then wirelessly collects a thickness reading from the passive sensor in seconds, simply with the push of a button.
CTO and founder of Inductosense, Dr. Cheng Huan Zhong, said “The design philosophy was simply to expand the capabilities of our existing WAND data collector by combining this with a robotics platform, resulting in a truly cost-effective and reliable monitoring solution for difficult-access areas. The WAND-Crawler differs from other robotic UT systems, it is designed to take a measurement from the installed sensor instead of taking an ultrasonic scan itself. This is a significant time saver with no surface preparation or water couplant required. The repeatability of the data from the WAND sensors is guaranteed which means the internal corrosion rate can be calculated accurately.”
Managing Director of Advanced Mechanical Systems, James Ireland, commented: “The crawler module we developed will enable quick and efficient thickness monitoring of tanks and large structures: the carbon fibre chassis makes it robust, lightweight and easy to attach and detach. The motor-powered, magnetic wheel modules provide enhanced manoeuvrability making it easy to navigate to the desired location. In addition, thanks to the high-resolution live video recording feature, the operator can perform external visual inspection of their assets whilst simultaneously acquiring their thickness data”.
Inductosense has deployed WAND solutions on a global scale, supporting major operators and service companies with their net zero and digitisation objectives. The WAND-Crawler is the first in a series of WAND-robotics solutions from Inductosense. Further solutions are currently under development with the aim of making monitoring of hard to reach areas more convenient, reliable, and cost-effective for customers.