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Coronavirus is a crisis that robotic tank cleaning was made for

Coronavirus is a crisis that robotic tank cleaning was made for


Covid19 has come at a time, that technologically speaking, Re-Gen Robotics was ready for, according to Fintan Duffy, Managing Director of the company leading the field in no-man entry, remote controlled, ATEX tank cleaning.

Winner of the Safety Technology Award, for innovative tank cleaning technology at the Global Tank Storage Awards in March, their technology was recognised ‘as a solid innovation and definitely in line with the way the industry is heading, in terms of improving safety, reducing costs and improving efficiency’.

Mr Duffy said: “As dreadful as this pandemic is, it has provided us with the opportunity to demonstrate how we can replace confined space crews, by turning risky tasks over to remotely operated robots.”

Requiring only two crew members to complete the entire cleaning operation, one to control the robot and the other to operate the tanker, human to human contact is zero and since the robots are immune to infection, work can carry on as normal.

Companies are reporting that the biggest challenge to them, in the coming weeks, will be having enough staff to run their business and how they will implement and regulate social distancing, to limit the spread of the virus.

“It stands to reason, therefore, that using a robotic tank cleaning company, with an award-winning track record for safety, will protect staff, ensure continuity and reduce costs, even if there was to be another wave of such a virus,” he continued.

“Safety and protection of personnel during the tank cleaning process are of the utmost importance. At no time during the cleaning process is there a requirement for human presence in the confined storage container. One technical operator remains a safe distance away in the Zone 1 control unit, where they can monitor activity and progress, through a series of ATEX cameras fixed to the robot, inside the tank being cleaned.

“The second crew member remains in the jet/vac tanker, to operate the access cranes via remote control, the ramp and to control suction and jetting pressures feeding the robotic equipment. It is already standard practice that communication with the robot operator is via two way, intrinsically safe ATEX radios, so social distancing is not an issue during a tank clean.”

Re-Gen Robotics has invested over £3 million to date, creating three purpose-built, Ex Zone 0 rated robots and auxiliary products. The large robots are designed to fit through a standard 600mm entry hatch via an extending ramp and de-sludge, wash and clean large-scale tanks, including fixed roof and floating roof tanks.

It has the power to clean the largest oil tanks with no hassle and can handle heavy fuel oil, crude oil, sludge and the like. Once cleaning is complete, the robot safely exits the container via its ramp and is returned to the control unit.

Regardless of the nature of the vessels, i.e. vertical, horizontal, over ground or underground, Re-Gen Robotics has the solution for non-man entry tank cleaning. The robots are designed to operate in the most inhospitable environments and with specialised access cranes, remote camera systems and engineering expertise, any size or shape of tank can be cleaned.

“Using robotic equipment to carry out works in hazardous confined spaces is the solution, to keep a very critical process in the petrochemical industry going, during and after this pandemic.

“Terminal and refinery operators can be assured that they have mitigated the risks associated with confined space tank cleaning and the spread of Covid19,” he said.

For more information visit www.regenrobotics.com

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.

Published: 22-04-2020

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