Collision-resistant drone deployed on roof replacement project

REACHING HEIGHTS Technicians used rope access to reach the 14-m-high roof, and carried out UT wall-thickness measurement on select steel members

REACHING HEIGHTS Technicians used rope access to reach the 14-m-high roof, and carried out UT wall-thickness measurement on select steel members

8th March 2019


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The Skyriders Elios Sky Eye confined-space inspection technology from industrial rope access company Skyriders Access Specialists was recently deployed with the collision-resistant drone used on a roof-replacement project for a major petrochemicals client, in conjunction with conducting ultrasonic thickness (UT) wall-thickness testing.

UT wall-thickness testing is one of the specialist inspection services offered by Skyriders – it has technicians trained specifically in this regard. UT measurement comprises the nondestructive testing of the local thickness of a solid element such as a wall, based on the time taken by the ultrasound waves to return to the surface. This measurement is determined by a UT gauge.

Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn explains that the industrial client had to make a major capital-expenditure decision, owing to the need to replace the roof of a large storage tank. If it could be determined that the underlying support structure had sufficient integrity to support the new roof, it would literally save millions on the project.

If an entirely new support structure was required, the roof-replacement project itself would be delayed, as the structure would have to go out to tender to be designed, fabricated and installed. This is where the expertise and technology of Skyriders was called upon. While the client has used Skyriders Elios Sky Eye technology before for inspection purposes, this was the first time that the system was used in conjunction with UT wall- thickness inspection.

Zinn explains that the Skyriders team was able to access the storage tank once it had received the necessary permit in this regard. The Skyriders Elios Sky Eye drone was used to conduct a thorough visual inspection of the internal support structure. Thereafter, technicians used rope access to reach the 14-m-high roof, and carried out UT wall-thickness measurement on select steel members.

This information was compiled into a detailed report, with the assistance of specialist engineering company Nyeleti Consulting, and then presented to the client.

“Within two days, we were able to produce a verified report assuring the client that the existing support structure was indeed adequate for the new roof covering,” Zinn


Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features



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