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Industry survey shows 86% support for robotic tank cleaning

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Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

A global survey of the oil terminal sector, commissioned by Re-Gen Robotics and carried out by Tank Storage Magazine at the end of 2020, found ‘overwhelming’ support for no-man-entry robotic tank cleaning, with 86% of respondents saying they would like to see it at their terminal.

The survey asked engineers, managers and senior executives with responsibility for hazardous area operations their preferred option for cleaning oil terminal tanks. It also asked those more generally involved in the safe installation and operation of plant and equipment within potentially explosive atmospheres to disclose their main industry concerns.

The main concerns of respondents were risk of death or injury (76%), followed by an environmental incident (61%) leading to their tanks being out of commission for longer than scheduled.

Of those locations that had a predilection for manned entry cleaning, the chief reason given for preferring this method was that labour options were cheap and therefore surpassed safety concerns.

More than 75% of those who took the survey were aware of no-man-entry cleaning and confirmed that the launch of Re-Gen Robotics’ service in 2019 has provided impetus for them to review options for employing a robotic tank cleaning service. Such a service should meet the safety requirements of tank terminal operators, while also taking account of financial and environmental considerations.

Different systems for cleaning oil tanks are currently in operation across the industry, with Re-Gen Robotics being the first and only Zone 0 EX certified, remote controlled, 100% no-man-entry robotic tank cleaning company in Europe.

‘It comes as no surprise that this was the outcome of the survey and is the underlying reason why we started the company in the first place. It is also no surprise that sadly, some companies do not value the lives of their workers,’ says Fintan Duffy, managing director of Re-Gen Robotics. ‘The survey gives a very clear message on what the oil terminal sector wants to see. Safety should always be the first business driver and the health and safety of personnel engaged in tank cleaning, should always be paramount.’

Over the last year Re-Gen Robotics has become the first and only choice for tank cleaning with the oil majors, who are fully committed to enhancing safety and productivity in their operations. According to Duffy, industry leaders are procuring his service to sit at the core of their safety strategy.

‘By sending our revolutionary robots into dangerous confined spaces, they are not only eliminating the dangers and liabilities associated with confined space entry but are also saving time, money and reducing operational downtime for their tanks. And if a tank need to be cleaned within a difficult timeframe, we provide the option of sending two robots into the tank, in order to meet those demands,’ he said.

Re-Gen Robotics looks forward to rolling out its robotic cleaning service across Europe, with plans in place to complete their first tank clean in continental Europe, this Spring.

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