UAVs take on inspections at petroleum refineries, GE Oil & Gas

August 08, 2017
Written by Staff
Petroleum refinery flare stacks require regular inspections for regulatory, safety and operational purposes. Traditionally, these types of assets are inspected only after the asset and related systems are shut down, allowed to cool and prepared for inspection — a costly endeavour.

That is why John Spirtos, managing director of New Business Creations at GE Ventures, wants to use ground- and air-based robots or drones equipped with special sensors to check the stack while it’s still active. GE Oil & Gas has the capability to combine the inspection data with input from fixed sensors placed on various assets and handheld sensors carried by technicians to get a much more complete picture of plant health.

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