There are many potentially dangerous scenarios in the manufacturing industry that can lead to disastrous outcomes when handled carelessly or without expert input. This is especially true when hazardous chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. Chemical leaks can have costly and sometimes fatal consequences.
Unfortunately, chemical leaks are common around the world. In one recent example in India, two 5,000 ton tanks developed leaks, one leaking styrene gas into a residential neighborhood and the other causing a fire. In the aftermath, at least 11 people died, and hundreds more needed to be hospitalized. The disaster highlighted the importance of taking chemical leaks seriously, particularly when it comes to inspections.
Challenges During Inspection
To prevent extensive damage, it is critical to inspect the sites thoroughly and in a timely manner. Unfortunately, many challenges exist within the inspection process, including:
- Difficult terrain. Chemical leaks often occur in small tanks or confined spaces difficult to access for human inspectors. Terrain can include areas filled with years of silt or debris, as well as hard-to-reach places, such as within pipes. Other hazards include uneven floors and stairs.
- Delays in the inspection. When it comes to inspecting chemical leaks, timeliness is a top concern. However, human inspection takes a great deal of time to prepare and complete. In addition, there must be a backup emergency team in place ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Protocol usually includes vehicles at the site, prepared to go to a hospital should anything go wrong.
- Safety risks. Chemical leak inspections present a hazard to the team involved, which is highly dependent on the type of substance in the tank. In addition, lengthy safety protocols must be followed, including properly wearing all personal protection equipment.
Remote Inspections With Guardian S Inspection Robot
Fortunately, recent innovations in robotics have created a way to inspect for leaks in a timely manner without putting employees in danger. By using a remotely controlled inspection robot, workers never have to come into contact with chemical tanks.
The Guardian S RVI robot helps enable remote inspection of confined spaces, including storage tanks. It can send real-time two-way video, data, and voice communications. High-resolution video means operators have similar capabilities as if they were at the site itself without exposure to the chemical. The robot can navigate and traverse difficult terrains, easily navigating through debris, pipes, culverts, and more. Guardian S inspection robots even have the ability to climb stairs and ferromagnetic surfaces.
Most importantly, the Guardian S robot helps save time. Days of inspection time can be saved by using remote visual inspection. With this efficiency, the Guardian S robot helps quickly inspect dangerous leaks of gas, hazardous chemicals, and more.