These techniques will provide our clients with cost and time savings and continued high inspection standards.
There is a growing need to develop more innovative and cost-effective solutions for spherical tank inspections. While the industry still looks to traditional scaffolding companies to provide them with working platforms for inspecting the internals of spherical storage tanks, Applus+ has now introduced a much safer and efficient way of providing the same visibility and accessibility to our client partners.
The HEX Inspection Platform was first launched in Applus+ UK several years ago where it has enabled the inspection of dozens of spherical tanks. Given our positive track record and lack of alternative solutions in the US market, there has been an increased interest in the Applus+ HEX Inspection Platform solution. Applus+ has successfully partnered with key operators in the US and launched the first HEX project in June 2018, which was a success. With the use of the HEX Inspection Platform the project was delivered on time, on budget and with no safety issues.
Traditional scaffolding takes time to construct and remove and usually requires many workers to do both. The installation and removal of scaffolding is just one aspect of these projects, there is also surface preparation, NDT and repairs to consider which may all require different service companies to complete. With all of these activities, the time the sphere is offline has a significant impact to revenue for Operators.
How can this be done more efficiently, safer and ultimately make the tank available for use sooner?
The Applus+ HEX Inspection Platform uses a turnkey approach that enables Applus+ to complete all scopes with one multi-disciplined Rope Access team. This Rope Access team constructed the HEX Inspection Platform in 3 days which gave our team 100% accessibility to all the internals of the 82 foot sphere. The same team provided the surface preparation to complete 100% MPI on the internal of the sphere. Applus+ was able to complete the project for our Client Partner 3 weeks sooner than previous project time.
The first project was a huge success for our group and the client was extremely satisfied with the project from start to finish. We have since received an additional sphere with this client and are looking at others to follow on form these first two.
During the project we identified a couple of safety concerns raised by the client and were able to provide the documentation from our HSE team and provide onsite training to the client representatives to allow them access to the HEX Inspection Platform.
We also identified areas where we could have been more efficient and have now implemented these practices. One area of improvement was during the surface preparation scope, and we are now using Vacuum Blasting as the preferred option. This method saves time and provides better air quality for the technicians.