Aerial robotics company Apellix (Jacksonville, Florida, USA) announced the launch of Apellix NDT as a new nondestructive testing (NDT) field services company. Under this structure, Apellix NDT will operate using the Apellix Opus X4 NDT systems.
Through its field services company, Apellix says it is now conducting projects focusing on ultrasonic (UT) inspections of aboveground storage tanks and vessels. UT is a volumetric method that uses soundwaves emitted into material to measure, for example, wall thickness. American Petroleum Institute (API 653) and other standards commonly require these inspections every five years.
Using computer-controlled drones with precision flight, Apellix performs UT measurements on tanks as high as 60 meters. The system can measure up to 100 locations per hour, reporting real-time results to an engineer on the ground.
A typical inspection of a tank includes visual inspection, a surface inspection, and a volumetric inspection. All three can be completed with the Opus X4 NDT system, which the company says is cheaper, faster, and safer than current methods of placing workers at height via lifts, scaffolding, or rope work.
In addition to the UT and other data, high-definition video and images are provided for post-flight analysis with artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and other nondestructive examination 4.0 techniques and tools. Data is stored onboard the aircraft, streamed live to systems operators and corrosion engineers, provided to maintenance service software systems for native import, and placed in the secure Apellix Flightlog cloud data repository (currently in beta).
“Starting a nondestructive testing company enables us to leverage the Apellix NDT platform that can provide a 20 times or higher productivity enhancement, allow work on in-service assets, and help keep workers safe, all while providing a breadth and depth of data never before available,” says Bob Dahlstrom, founder and CEO. “Conducting NDT jobs in the world also enables us to stay close to our customers and learn what additional features create the most value for them.”
Source: Apellix, www.apellix.com.