Gecko Robotics was procured to take on an NDT inspection of a Butane Sphere that would have otherwise needed extensive days and rope access to be completed.
A robotic inspection was performed by the Gecko Robotics Inspection Team (GRIT) in just one 12-hour shift with a pair of NDT inspectors and a TOKATM robot. The TOKA robot was utilized to perform Rapid Ultrasonic Gridding (RUG), a nondestructive examination method, in all unobstructed areas, while inspectors were able to do handheld around nozzles and the support beam. Without the use of either scaffolding or rope access; ground access only.
The client had attempted magnetic crawlers in past inspections with no luck. Previous crawlers would slide off the sphere and had to be kept on-track with a rope access crew. With Gecko’s TOKA robot, permanent rare-earth magnet wheels, with payloads upwards of 150lbs per wheel, and high-definition maneuvering cameras, help navigate a variety of logistical challenges.
Upon completion of Gecko’s inspection, 641K A-scan thickness readings were intuitively stitched together to visually display the sphere’s interactive, C-scan corrosion map. At 178 readings per square foot, Gecko was able to provide data-dense gridding over the 40.5ft (13.9m) diameter sphere, allowing the customer to plan and locate repairs needed immediately. Previous manual inspections of the butane sphere lacked the ability to provide a high grade RBI confidence score. Using RUG methods and Gecko’s TOKA inspection robot, the client was able to improve confidence in today’s decisions, and establish a comprehensive baseline for future inspections.
Gecko's TOKA robot is a wall-climbing robot with up to 96 transducers, speeds of 60' (18m) per minute, and 4 HD visual cameras.