Procter & Gamble was seeking a safer and more cost efficient alternative to inspect their chemical mix tanks in Iowa City.
Due to the regulated size and shape of the mix tanks across each plant, the company wanted to find a solution that could be used widespread. P&G asked Interactive Aerial’s Service Team to perform an inspection on a pair of mix tanks to get an idea of the internal condition as well as formalize a new and safer standard for these routine inspections.
Past inspections have been completed with human entry followed by a decontamination process before going back online, costing thousands in down time as well as the cost of decontamination. To alleviate the costs and time this process would take, P&G tested other camera solutions to avoid the need of confined space entry, eventually trying Zenith as a proposed solution.
Procter & Gamble needed to resolve two issues with their current process: safety and cost savings. The company wanted to eliminatethe need for human entry into a dangerous, confined space as well as improve the process of previous camera solutions. They wanted 100% asset coverage with reliable and practical data that exceeded traditional methods.
Interactive Aerial completed the chemical mix tank inspections with Zenith. The Zenith utilized many advanced systems and configurations, allowing for safe and fast inspections of the confined assets. The unit used its stabilized camera capable of capturing 4K video and 18MP photos with a 30x optical zoom. Hanging from a cable and free spinning bearing allows for unlimited rotation, which enables the operator to see any spot needed inside the tanks. Using the addition of extension arm tubes held by the angled Gantry System, Zenith was able to extend past the agitator column in order to inspect every angle of the tank.
Procter & Gamble requested to see underneath the agitator blades to check for any corrosion or defects. With the combination of Zenith’s angled and extended configuration, as well as the 180 ̊̊ gimbal tilt, Zenith’s camera clearly captured both the bottom of the mix tank as well as looking straight up at the bottom of the agitator column. This configuration of Zenith provided the exact vantage points needed in an inspection that were previously quite difficult to capture.
The main purpose of inspecting these mix tanks was to look at the general integrity of the entire asset. How have the tanks held up to chemical corrosion? Were there any defects that could be seen as immediate problems? Does the data from Zenith provide enough for routine preventative maintenance inspections? Zenith gave these results and more with the ability to track corrosion rate through our measurement software and tag the location for each photo in the tank.
The additional tubes added to the Extension Arm allowed for each tank to be inspected using only two configurations. The inspection lasted under 30min for the two passes, and all perspectives and areas needed to reach were easily accessed for data collection with Zenith.
Procter & Gamble has determined that Zenith and inspection robotics are a viable alternative to traditional confined space entry. Tools like Zenith keep their inspectors on the ground and out of hazardous chemical tanks, effectively saving the company time, money and the safety of their inspectors.