An Appetite for Detail

The Versatrax 100™ at the Tee

The Versatrax 100™ at the Tee

Not all customers come to Inuktun with a complete, detailed description of their specific remote visual inspection challenge. As the manufacturer, that can place us in an awkward position — what exactly is needed to get this inspection job done? But if you give us the best possible definition of your problem, we’ll provide the very best solution we can imagine. And, most of the time, it’s a recipe that works.

As a case in point, one client in the hydro industry had a 10 inch fire hydrant mainline that required inspection. The main had a 6 inch lateral on a horizontal 90 degree tee meant to be used for entry. Because the Versatrax 100™ inline version operates like a train on the tracks, it was not expected to traverse the tee, let alone choose a direction. Inuktun looked instead to the parallel version.

Model of prototype vehicle

Model of prototype vehicle

The Versatrax 100™ parallel chassis offers easy manoeuverability in its compact shape, but when we placed it in a computer model of the customer’s application, allowing for a worst case SCH 120 internal diameter of 5.5 inches, we quickly discovered some restrictions in managing the tee junction when the chassis was optimized for the 10 inch mainline. 

Fortunately, Inuktun’s multi-mission, modular technology is designed to provide custom solutions using off-the-shelf proven technology. We were able to construct a customized chassis within our CAD program using existing modules - a simple bent plate chassis with the track angle optimized for the mainline that could be deployed through the 6 inch lateral. The modeling proved the prototype effective, so we produced the crawler and delivered it to the client.

Modified Versatrax 100™ Vehicle

Modified Versatrax 100™ Vehicle

When the client received the modified system and delivered it to their job site 500km NE of Val-d'Or Quebec, they opened the fire hydrant and discovered that the pipe was actually 5.25 inches in diameter. It turns out that their drawings were wrong. The remote vehicle didn’t fit, and the inspections could not be performed. Fortunately the client was able to quickly dig down and open the main line to directly insert the vehicle and finish their intended inspection.

It’s all in the details. There will undoubtedly be situations where a work environment isn’t fully known. Getting the most information upfront can make the difference between costly, fruitless efforts and a successful remote inspection mission. Contact Inuktun today for a specialized solution to your remote inspection challenge.