Robotic technologies in the water utility industry

Industries across the board are embracing innovative solutions to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure the longevity of their infrastructure. 

The water utility industry is no exception. 

What robotic technologies can be used in the water utility industry? What role do they play when carrying out inspections in this sector? 

This blog explores the role of robotic technologies, specifically remote sensing technologies, in revolutionising Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) inspections within the water utility industry.

Robotic technologies redefining inspection norms

Historically, inspecting water utility infrastructure required significant human intervention, often in challenging and hazardous environments.  

However, the arrival of robotic technologies is changing the way we do things. 

Remote sensing technologies, including drones and specialised robotic systems, are now at the forefront of modernising NDT inspections.

Interested? NDT Group can offer a full-range of NDT services using robotic technology. Contact us for more information about how we can help you. 

Drones soaring to new heights

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, have become indispensable tools in the water utility industry. 

Equipped with advanced sensors and cameras, drones offer a bird’s-eye view of infrastructure, providing our technicians with valuable data without direct physical contact. 

This capability is particularly crucial for assessing vast networks of pipelines, reservoirs, and treatment plants.

The advantages of employing drones in NDT inspections are multifaceted. 

Drones can effortlessly navigate challenging terrains, access difficult-to-reach locations, and capture high-resolution images for detailed analysis. 

This not only speeds up the inspection process but also significantly reduces the risks associated with human inspectors operating in potentially dangerous environments.

Specialised robotics for precision inspections

While drones are revolutionising above-ground inspections, specialised robotic systems are making waves below the surface. 

WRc Infrastructure has been actively developing and implementing robots designed for confined spaces, intricate pipelines, and even underwater environments.

Our partnership with WRc Infrastructure means we have access to their state-of-the-art tech, meaning we can provide you with a full range of extensive NDT testing services. 

These robotic systems, equipped with advanced cameras, sensors, and NDT tools, can conduct thorough inspections without exposing our technicians to hazardous conditions. 

Whether navigating through confined pipelines or submerging into underwater structures, these robots are enhancing the precision and efficiency of NDT inspections.

Some examples of the tech we can offer with WRc Infrastructure: 

  • RSM2 – a high speed, high accuracy remote access ultrasonic corrosion mapping system, designed to evaluate the condition of ferrous structures such as storage tanks, pipelines and other critical equipment, supporting effective and safe operation. 
  • Pipe Crawler (Versatrax 320)- a low-maintenance tethered crawler that is easy to deploy for both underwater and dry applications. It has the capability for both CCTV and NDT and covers a 1000m range and 60m depth. 
  • SmartFoam – long-range and free swimming, with sensors capable of full internal inspection for pipelines of any fluid. 
  • Touch Pro – an advanced leak noise correlator designed especially for the more difficult leak detection situations, including plastic or large-diameter pipes. 

Interested? Through our partnership with WRc Infrastructure, NDT Group can provide this technology and offer a full range of NDT services to meet your needs. Contact us to find out how we can help you. 

Enhancing safety and efficiency

The integration of robotic technologies into NDT inspections has far-reaching implications for safety and efficiency. 

By minimising the need for human presence in hazardous environments, robotic systems contribute to a significant reduction in accidents and injuries associated with traditional inspection methods. 

The ability to operate in confined spaces and navigate intricate infrastructures also enhances the overall efficiency of inspections.

From a financial standpoint, the use of robotic technologies proves to be more cost-effective for you in the long run. 

The speed and precision with which these systems operate result in quicker assessments, reducing downtime for essential infrastructure. 

This not only translates to direct cost savings for you but also ensures that maintenance or repairs are promptly addressed, preventing potential disruptions in water supply.

Raising environmental standards

Beyond safety and efficiency, the adoption of robotic technologies aligns with broader goals of sustainability and environmental stewardship. 

Proactive inspections facilitated by robotic systems allow for early detection of issues, minimising the risk of leaks, contamination, and other environmental hazards. 

By addressing problems promptly, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact, contributing to the overall sustainability of water infrastructure.

A technological revolution in the making

The water utility industry is on the brink of a technological revolution, thanks to the integration of robotic technologies in NDT inspections. 

Drones and specialised robotic systems are reshaping the landscape of infrastructure maintenance, offering unprecedented capabilities for assessment and maintenance. 

NDT Group, working alongside WRc Infrastructure, continues to push the boundaries of innovation; using these technologies to deliver efficient, safe, and environmentally conscious NDT testing. 

The era of robotic technologies in the water utility industry is not just a trend; it’s the future of NDT testing.

Responsive testing that delivers assurance that your equipment is safe.

Contact us for a quality testing service with a fast report turnaround. We can respond to any challenge.


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