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  • William Noordink

Asset Integrity technology adoption trends from the iTanks event in the Netherlands

Last week I attended an event on innovations in asset integrity for tank terminals hosted by iTanks, an innovation platform in the Netherlands. Several industrial companies from the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical sectors participated. Below are the key observations from the event:

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) continues to be an issue in the Netherlands.

iTanks, an innovation platform for the tank storage industry, has made several observations on Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) in the Netherlands. They note that CUI is a major problem in the industry, causing a significant amount of maintenance work, lost production, and safety hazards. They also observe that many storage tank operators in the Netherlands rely on traditional inspection techniques that can miss CUI damage and that there is a need for increased use of advanced non-destructive testing techniques. iTanks also highlights the importance of proper insulation design and installation to prevent the formation of CUI in the first place. Overall, their observations suggest that ongoing efforts are necessary to address CUI in the tank storage industry in the Netherlands.

Adoption of Corrosion monitoring for CUI

While Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) is a problem in critical process installations and insulated storage tanks, there are advancements in monitoring systems (e.g. CorrosionRADAR) that detect leading indicators like the presence of moisture as well as the corrosive environment and locate them precisely. Asset owners and service contractors recognised the need for real-time data to assist in the CUI Risk and reduce unscheduled downtime.

The rise of drones for industrial inspections

Drones have become increasingly popular for inspections in the industry due to their ability to access hard-to-reach areas, provide high-quality imagery and data, and reduce the need for human workers to enter potentially hazardous environments. With advancements in technology, drones can now perform inspections, including identifying corrosion, detecting leaks, and assessing structural damage. Using drones for inspections can also improve efficiency and reduce costs, as they can cover larger areas in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional inspection methods. However, regulations and safety considerations are important when using drones for inspections in the oil and gas industry. Therefore, proper training and certification are necessary for pilots to operate drones safely and effectively.

Maturing capabilities in Robotics for industrial inspections

Robotics is becoming an increasingly popular option for inspections in many industries, particularly in the Oil & Gas sector. Robots are used for various types of inspections, including tank, pipeline, and offshore platform inspections. Robotics technology is advancing rapidly, enabling robots to carry out more complex tasks with greater precision and efficiency. For example, some robots are equipped with cameras and sensors that detect defects such as cracks and corrosion in equipment and infrastructure. Others are designed to navigate challenging environments, such as confined spaces or underwater environments. Using robotics for inspections can help reduce safety risks for workers, increase the speed and accuracy of inspections and reduce the need for shutdowns and maintenance downtime.

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