NoMan – Down Under

July 5th, 2017

The industry has been urgently pursuing innovations which reduce the safety risk and costs of putting people into confined spaces.

EM&I have risen to the challenge with NoMan®, an innovation encouraged by the HITS JIP.

NoMan bucks the trend of using UAVs and instead takes a leaf out of the nuclear industry book by using high performance cameras placed remotely into pre-planned locations in the confined space using a manipulator.

NoMan is capable of both general and close visual inspections combined with a laser scan that dimensionally confirms structural integrity.

Successful, class approved unmanned inspection of cargo oil and water ballast tanks have already been carried out with no man entry at all.

Cost and production uptime savings have been impressive – 4 cargo oil tanks were completed with a 2-man team in 4 days and without having to prepare the tanks or provide all the back-up safety requirements for confined space man entry.

NoMan has now opened up a new opportunity for Operators to improve safety and production up-time by extending the concept to pressure vessels and other equipment.

In June 2017 NoMan was used on a major gas plant in Western Australia to complete a successful internal inspection of a pig barrel. This adds to previous NoMan inspections of pressure vessels which avoided man entry.

Remote view of pig barrel internals

Stephen Blair GM Asia Pacific commented “Being the first NoMan deployment in Australia we made sure of success by specialist training and ensuring buy-in from all stakeholders. Our focus now is to ensure that we bring the benefits of NoMan to other confined space tasks such as FPSO tanks, onshore tanks and other remote locations”.

For example, EM&I conducted a successful NoMan Wharf Bearing Inspection campaign for a client in Saudi Arabia in August 2016. The inspections comprised a GVI and CVI of all the critical structural and pipe support bearings.

Left: Marine Terminal Saudi Arabia, Right: Wharf Bearing Seen Through NoMan Camera

Danny Constantinis, EM&I CEO, commented: “We were delighted with the success of this NoMan project which avoided rope access teams or scaffolding, which would have severely hampered berthing operations. This resulted in a lower cost for our client and significantly better inspection data”.