Drone in action as flying detective at INEOS Phenol
- At INEOS Phenol in Doel, a remarkable detection drone flew around for a test flight.
- The drone with sensitive measuring equipment from the Finnish Aeromon was used for the first time in Belgium to test whether small leak losses of leakage can be detected in this way.
Usually, leakage checks are carried out by someone who closely examines the installations with a measuring device. A drone could make this easier, because it could, for example, get to places that are difficult to reach in an easier way."We very regularly carry out leak loss inspections," says Benny Van Den Heuvel, who is responsible for smart manufacturing at INEOS Phenol in Doel. "We want to detect the smallest leakages. A drone could make this easier, because it could, for example, get to places that are difficult to reach in an easier way."We very regularly inspect for leakage losses," says Benny Van Den Heuvel, who is responsible for smart manufacturing at INEOS Phenol. "We also want to detect the smallest leakages. Because we have thousands of valves and pumps here and some are located at a high or difficult to reach place, we were looking for a way to identify that more easily."
Phenol found a new approach at Aeromon in Finland. Aeromon supplies the measuring equipment - the nose that hangs under the drone and is flown by the drone pilots of Skyebase from Moerbeke-Waas. That turned out to be a stable solution. It is the first time Aeromon applies the new technique in Belgium.
"The flight went without a hitch," says Benny Van Den Heuvel. "The nose on the drone immediately transmits all measurements wirelessly, so we can make adjustments or look at a piece in more detail. All that data is also in an extensive report, which would even allow us to make a 3D map of the measurements. A disadvantage of taking measurements with a drone is that you are very dependent on the weather.
"We are already doing visual inspections with drones inside installations or storage tanks already, because they are not always easily accessible to people and equipment. This was the first time we used a drone flight for leakages. In the future, we might also be able to take thickness measurements in this way. All the equipment to do accurate thickness measurements with a drone is now available. There are certainly useful applications. We have learned a lot with this first drone flight for leak loss detection."