Coatings Firm Partners on Inspection Drones
Coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel has announced it is partnering with an oil and gas tanker operator and a drone developer to create a drone that will allow the remote inspection of enclosed spaces and ballast water tanks.
The Amsterdam-based firm is working with Barrier Group and DroneOps to develop the new technology, which will use virtual reality to allow inspectors to safely access areas that would generally be considered to be risky to inspect in person.
Drones for Remote, Confined Spaces
A number of U.S. states have explored or already implemented systems wherein drones are used to help inspect bridges and other structures, and AkzoNobel has begun to use drones for inspections in remote locations. The new project joins a number of other companies that have explored or implemented the use of drones for confined-space inspections.
“Surveys of enclosed spaces and ballast water tanks are an essential part of routine maintenance and are increasingly critical for ship owners,” explained Michael Hindmarsh, business development manager at AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business.
“Inspecting these areas thoroughly can require working at height, entering confined spaces and negotiating slippery surfaces that could be poorly lit, all of which are high-risk activities that the maritime industry is keen to address.”
The group is currently looking to have its drone ready to launch in October.