Futuristic coating inspections with drones
The world’s leading coating manufacturer AkzoNobel is currently cooperating with Barrier Group, an operator of oils and gas tankers, and the UK based technology company DroneOps to realise drone coating inspection for ballast tanks and other difficult to reach areas.
Akzo Nobel believes that in the future drones can provide more accurate statistics and evaluations of ballast water tanks, oil platforms and offshore wind farms. The drone coating inspection would additionally make it easier to access certain spaces on ships and other marine structures. Not only would the drones inspect the coating job in general, but also detect corrosion and deterioration of the coating. Additionally, drones can detect corrosion under insulation and help identify the need for maintenance well on time.
Drone coating inspection to contribute to employee safety
Inspecting enclosed spaces is an essential part of standard maintenance and it is becoming more and more critical to ship operators and owners. The fact that drones can easily access spaces, which are otherwise difficult to reach, means that technicians and other employees no longer need to find their way to those areas. The route to inspecting a ballast tank for example may include climbing and passing numerous slippery and poorly lit areas. This means thus that even for experienced coating inspectors, there are risk in such a job. Deploying drones in the marine industry would thus remarkably reduce risks involved in inspecting tanks and other difficult to reach spaces. Drones can additionally detect the need for repairs faster and; therefore, contribute to cost efficiency.