NoMan remote camera technology cuts inspection costs

July 10th, 2018

EM&I’s ‘NoMan’ remote camera technology was recently used for tank inspections on an FPSO in the North Sea. Just two men in two days completed the work of a five man rope access inspection team, to the complete satisfaction of the both the client and class society, without entering the cargo oil tanks.

The client had estimated that it would have taken at least 100 man days for a rope access team to have achieved the same result and even more time to prepare the tanks for man entry. Being able to inspect tanks remotely eliminated the safety risks associated with confined space entry and working at height, and the speed of the inspection made the tanks available for service much sooner.

According to the operator, an overall saving of over 50% was achieved with a 90% reduction in man-hours. This proven success has now led to many other operators to request NoMan trials on their assets both in the UK and overseas. The NoMan package includes the preparatory engineering, RBI based work scopes, pressurised camera with inbuilt integral lighting and manipulators, and remote pan & tilt control.

NoMan meets the class and regulatory requirements providing general and close visual inspections, with an additional laser options for structural distortion surveys and pitting measurements, all achieved without man entry, and at a fraction of the cost and out-of-service time.

Although the technology appears to be a simple ‘camera on a stick’, this is far from the reality. The specialised equipment needs to have a proven ability to detect and measure anomalies defined as being above the ‘defect tolerance standard’ defined by the HITS JIP, while the manipulation system needs to avoid ‘shadow areas’ and provide a stable platform to avoid movement of the camera.

The inspection and cleaning requirements for remote tank inspection methods have been defined by the JIP (Joint Industry Project) for HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques & Strategy) which EM&I have been leading for 5 years.

The development of the NoMan synchronous laser system for remote non-contact gauging will be announced later in 2018 making NoMan ‘the complete’ confined space remote inspection system.

Danny Constantinis (Executive Chairman) of the international asset integrity specialists EM&I commented: This is a very exciting development which will help to make tank inspections less costly and safer while improving operational efficiency. The use of cameras, lasers, and robotics will revolutionise the way we work in the asset integrity industry”.