Two companies. Four aboveground storage tanks. Countless hours saved for three EWI employees. Thousands of dollars saved for two clients. One ultrasonic magnetic tank crawler.
Environmental Works, Inc. (EWI) recently purchased an AC-powered, remote-controlled, ultrasonic magnetic tank crawler and almost immediately put it to good use inspecting four total aboveground storage tanks at two different manufacturing facilities in the greater St. Louis region.
The first tank inspected was a used oil tank at a car parts manufacturing plant north of St. Louis. Once situated on site next to the tank, Barry Hamilton, Certified Tank Inspector and Tank Inspection Program Manager at EWI, had the tank crawler and the data recording system it runs through put together and up-and-running in about 40 minutes. The actual tank inspection took even less time, with Brandon Young, CDL Driver and Field Technician, using the remote control to steer the tank crawler in a straight line from the factory floor to the top of the tank and back down from four different positions around the cylindrical tank. While Young was “driving” the tank crawler, Hamilton was interpreting data from the recording system to determine the tank’s corrosion rate and life expectancy, as well as any deficiencies in the tank.
The next day, Hamilton was on-site at another manufacturing facility in south St. Louis city to do inspections of three more aboveground storage tanks, each about double the size of the used oil tank at the first facility. Still, Hamilton had the tank crawler set up in short order, and, this time, Tom Tunnicliff, EWI’s Market Manager in St. Louis, was on-site to control the crawler and steer it up and down four lengths of each tank. The inspection of all three tanks was completed in under an hour.
The tank crawler, which can attach to the side of any steel or metal tank using high strength rare-Earth magnetic wheels, is able to make continuous thickness measurements and is remotely-controlled with a 100-foot umbilical cord.
The advantages of using a tank crawler as opposed to doing a manual tank inspection are many, according to Hamilton, but the “main advantage is safety.”
“We don’t have to work off of ladders or man lifts to get the higher-up readings,” he said.
Just as importantly for clients, using a tank crawler saves time and money.
“This also works out for cost savings for the client,” said Hamilton. “It’s faster and more cost effective to use the crawler than having to rent a manlift.”
The tank crawler can actually be more accurate, as well.
“In addition, the crawler does a continuous reading down the side of the tank, giving the inspector a better indication of the internal shell thickness,” says Hamilton. “When doing (an inspection) by hand, the inspector only gets a reading at the point of contact.”
If your company is in need of a tank inspection, and you want to save both time and money by using our tank crawler, reach out to Hamilton and our tank inspection team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not sure what type of inspection your company needs, visit our Tank, Vessel and Piping Inspections page at https://www.environmentalworks.com/tank-services/tank-inspections/ for guidance and more information.