Inuktun Sighting #113: Versatrax 300™ Long Range Crawler Performs International Inspection

It’s one thing to design and build highly sophisticated technology used for complex data collection, and it’s another thing to be the end user in a real-world situation. Today’s #InuktunInTheWild sighting comes from our own technical team who travelled all the way to Rio, Brazil, to perform detailed remote visual inspection and ultrasonic testing (UT) on a private refinery pipeline using Inuktun’s Versatrax 300™ long range pipe inspection vehicle outfitted with an OnSpec custom UT solution.

Felipe Oliveira of Nortech, our local agent in Brazil, contacted us as an inspection consultant for a major independent refinery who was interested in bringing a deactivated pipeline back online after six years. This pipeline was previously used to transport oil derivatives from a mooring buoy to the refinery’s storage tanks. The client required both a general visual inspection and thickness measurement assessment of the pipe with segments up to 30 years old. With limited access points over a long distance, Inuktun offered the Versatrax 300™ as the superior choice to perform the structural integrity assessment. In order to accommodate the metal loss measurement requirement, our in-house engineers designed a unique multi-UT probe attachment to allow for quantitative, location specific, thickness measurement along the dirty and sometimes flooded pipeline.

Inuktun’s rental Versatrax 300™ already had a pretty impressive passport, having travelled all over the US, Canada and even to Africa; so why not Brazil? While the vehicle was the tough workhorse, our onsite engineers worked up a sweat in Rio’s high temperatures on job sites beside a busy highway and under an overpass. Like any project, there were some unexpected challenges faced, and Inuktun’s team have been inspired with future design improvements after this exotic learning experience. One of Inuktun’s onsite engineers, Gabe Hamilton, commented, “It was great to see features we implemented have made inspections easier for operators. For example, we displayed a waveform of our readings which helped us determine their accuracy and will ultimately help with the final inspection report. Having real-time data through ICON [Inuktun’s proprietary control and operation software] was SO useful. The feedback from the pitch and roll of the Spectrum 120HD camera instantly let us know when the crawler was starting to climb the sides of the pipe, providing a frame of reference for the position of the probes relative to the pipe circumference.”

This inspection is expected to be complete at the end of April; stay tuned for another #InuktunInTheWild sighting from Rio, Brazil. And don’t forget to send us your own photos or videos of IM3™ (Inuktun Multi-Mission Modular) technology working hard in the field for a chance to be featured on our blog!