Ultrasonic thickness measurement (UTM) with drones
In the following article we will find out what UTM drones are, how they work and at what can they help us.
Build like a tank, industrial UTM Drones are made with tough, collision tolerant enclosures to withstand rough conditions, and are equipped with ultrasonic sensors, allowing them to make measurements in hard to reach and dangerous places.
Ultrasonic inspections are specialized and personalized services, together with our partners at Terra Inspectioneering we are the first and exclusive providers of such UT Drone inspections in Romania.
Ultrasonic measurements are a type of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) using ultrasounds that penetrate the material and are reflected back to the sensor, then the information is processed and interpreted by a certified NDT engineer – giving you the precise thickness.
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We like to keep things simple, the main advantage of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) being the fact that that they are well… not destructive. There is no need for intrusions thus maintaining the state and integrity of the asset.
Another important advantage is the fact that we are using drones, so they can be flown everywhere is needed. Places that are usually hard or near impossible to reach for humans are no challenge for a drone. The high versatility and mobility of a drone is unmatched.
Except for the fact that they are fun, this kind of drones offer many benefits compared to traditional methods of inspection, the main ones being:
Efficiency – Shorter downtime, the inspection process takes days instead of weeks so your asset can get back in production faster.
Cost – The costs of the inspections themselves can be lowered by 25-50% because fewer man-hours are needed as the process is more automated.
Safety – The amount of scaffolding, rope access or cranes needed can be lowered by 50-85% and eliminating the need for human access to dangerous, hazardous areas.
Precision – Precise targeting and positioning of inspection data. Results are 0.1mm accurate thus inspection results are based on high-level data that can be trusted and relied upon.
The primary industry that benefits the most from this type of inspection is the oil & gas industry as it has very strict technical and safety guidelines. Here are a few real-world use cases:
Wall thickness – Measuring the thickness of steel reservoirs and tanks shells
Structural IPA beams – Measuring the thickness of storage tank roof structural beams
Roof plates – Measuring the thickness of storage tank roof plates
This kind of inspections are fast and precise, recommended for corrosion checking and preventive maintenance. Data acquired by the UT drone is then combined with data from the confined spaces inspection for a complete overview and assessment of the asset, which will talk more about in our future blog post.
There is no other faster, easier and precise way to do thickness measurements for oil & gas storage tanks. State of the art drones and ultrasounds sensors offer unrivaled flexibility in this field of work. All of this with higher efficiency and safety standards.
Don’t hesitate to contact us!