You can’t buy explosion-proof people, but you can buy explosion-proof cameras. One of the biggest benefits of remote inspection (RI) equipment is that it mitigates risks by keeping human lives out of hazardous situations and by gaining knowledge of hazardous environments that would be otherwise inaccessible.
Here are three ways that companies can use remote inspection equipment instead of sending people into danger zones:
1. Catalytic Crackers
You can send a person inside of your cat cracker or FCC to visually inspect it, but that’s needlessly putting personnel into a confined space. Cat crackers are big vessels, full of vertical pipes and other threats. Inside of a cat cracker, people are at risk of being injured by falls or high temperatures, and they may even get stuck in cramped quarters. Not only do you have to worry about the wellbeing of the inspector inside of the cat cracker, you have to worry about potentially having to shut down your operations while a hurt or trapped employee is extracted.
The safer alternative is to send in a borescope, pan and tilt camera, or pipe crawler for remote inspection. This allows you to conduct a thorough, actionable inspection without placing people or operations in jeopardy.
Combustion Imaging Cameras
Atlas Inspection Technologies has a robust line of explosion-proof combustion imaging cameras available for rent, sale and repair.
2. Furnace, heater and reformers
A refinery is basically a series of furnaces, heaters, and reformers. This super-heated environment is rife with risk, so organizations generally rely on thermal indicators (TI’s) to monitor temperatures. But TI’s only measure temperatures at fixed spots along the tube lines, and a lot can happen over a foot of tube.
On the other hand, a thermal imaging camera can measure temperatures across the entire span of a given tube, giving more accurate information about which tubes are abnormally hot or nearing the end of their lifespans. The subsequent information allows operators to make smart decisions about furnace operations and tube life span.
3. Oily Water Sewers
It is important that oily water sewers are kept intact and clean, so that hazardous wastewater can flow normally towards collection and treatment. Oily water sewers that back up can contaminate ground water and water supplies, shut down units and place entire plants at increased fire risk.
Sending personnel into an oily water/hazardous sewer is not an option. Remote inspection allows plants to identify clogs and debris. Utilizing a robotic pan and tilt system rated for hazardous areas, blockages and defects can be accurately identified, mapped and more easily managed.
Remote inspection (RI) equipment keeps employees out of harm’s way, minimizes unit and plant outages, lowers fire danger and provides insights into what steps must be taken in the future to ensure continued, uninterrupted production.
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