Intero Integrity wins award for innovative robotic tank floor inspection


The SPRINT Robotics Award 2018 has been awarded to Intero Integrity. This award by the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative is presented annually in recognition of ground-breaking collaborative work towards the acceptance of inspection and maintenance robotics in society. It was presented on 13 November 2018 in Galveston, Texas, USA, during the first edition of the SPRINT Robotics World Conference for Inspection and Maintenance Robotics.

Intero Integrity was awarded the prize for its collaboration with Vopak in executing an innovative robotic low-flashpoint naphtha product tank floor inspection while the storage tank was in-service. For this inspection, the ATEX-approved OTIS500 robot was used. This robot was developed for live deployment, eliminating the need to take the tank offline and saving man-hours and tank downtime. Additionally, by using an unmanned solution for tank inspection, there are fewer health & safety concerns regarding the procedure and a reduction in the emission of hydrocarbon vapours and waste water.

Tjibbe Bouma, Chairman of the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative, said: ”The work performed for this successful project is a shining example of how close collaboration can accelerate breakthroughs in industry practices. The SPRINT Robotics Award recognises the important work carried out by Intero and its project partners to help establish robotic on-stream inspection of storage tanks as a preferred standard solution to be considered for the majority of storage tanks around the world.”

Rienk de Vries, CEO of Intero Integrity Services, said: “We are honoured to be acknowledged by the Sprint Robotics Collaborative for this ground-breaking tank inspection approach. With our innovation and research and development (R&D) efforts, we are dedicated to contributing to the industry in order to maximise safety and efficiency.”

Second place was awarded to Ecoserv for a robotic unmanned entry into an above-ground storage tank with hazardous and pyrophoric material and a damaged floating roof, in collaboration with Chevron. ExRobotics was awarded third place for the execution of a remote inspection and autonomous surveillance operation, in collaboration with TU Darmstadt’s Energy Robotics Team, NAM, Shell and UL.