Camera goes “down the tubes”
Fast pipe-inspection system
To install Extra High Voltage (EHV) cables in 75 km of 200 mm conduits, Nexans Olex team from Australia designed and commissioned a simple, self-contained robotic camera which rapidly scans joints, foreign matter and water within tubes.
A fish-eye DVD image
The old method used a cumbersome, remotely-operated camera trolley in “real time” which stopped and panned for details. The new ROBOLEX races down the conduit, recording a fish-eye video on an onboard small hard disk recorder (HDR). The files are then transferred to a DVD, making it possible to study the material at leisure, slowing, stopping and even reversing images.
The robust ROBOLEX camera saved time and money, and also made it possible for Nexans to provide customers with a permanent record of the conduit state on DVD along with its “as built” documentation.
Inspection a must
Conduit inspection was being written into the installation contracts by customers, and so Olex needed to find a fast and efficient way of doing this without cost overruns. Instead of “real-time” inspection, engineers suggested filming everything at high speed with controlled playback. A subcontractor was found to build the device; then full-scale trials were conducted to perfect the unit. The ROBOLEX was built in time for the first scheduled cable installation, and the customer was fully satisfied with the method, equipment and permanent record of the installation.
Since completion, a smaller version of the system has been developed which Olex is now reselling for other pipe inspection applications.