With increasing demand in the Nordic region, Amphi-tech (Sweden) has just purchased a Needlefish P-150, their third vehicle purchase from Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. to date.
Amphi-tech is one of Deep Ocean's longest standing customers having purchased one of the original Phantom 300s in 1997 and a Phantom-150e from 2001, which are both still being used today. Amphi-tech specializes in the inspection of water-filled tunnels, pipelines in inland lakes and inspections of industrial tanks. Their job sites are highly varied in structure, access, and location, so they require a mobile, lightweight, and reliable ROV system to accompany them on the job. Their main customers are mainly in Nordic countries but Amphi-tech also brings their ROVs all around Europe for inspections.
When contacted about their new purchase and if they were pleased with the delivery, Amphi-tech's Simon Pehrson stated, "Over the years we have bought and tested several different models and brands of underwater robots, each with its pros and cons. What distinguishes Deep Ocean Engineering's machines is their reliability, stability and ease of maintenance." It is not uncommon for Amphi-tech to travel over 1000km in order to get to a jobsite and return home. This requirement places high demands on the equipment because failure is incredibly costly for both the client and the contractor.
Amphi-tech is the leading underwater inspection (non-offshore) company in Sweden and has the most complete equipment suite for surveying, inspection, and examination of the subside fauna and their associated habitat. The Phantom 300 that is nearly 17 years old is still in use today and has an impressive repertoire of completed tasks. They have used the P300 for:
• Advanced internal measurement of the power plant tunnels via sonar profiling.
• Identification and investigations prior to construction of raw water intakes.
• Interior and exterior inspections of water pipes.
• Internal inspections of water-filled industrial tanks.
• Documentation with image and scanning.
• Searching for missing boats and bodies.
In recent years, sea bed mapping demand has increased in the commercial sector in Amphi-tech's region. Amphi-tech focuses primarily on inland lakes that require a small boat and lighter equipment. Their aim is to map the bottom for items that can disrupt an upcoming work. They carry out the design for the work and conclude the work was done correctly, all while documenting the progress and completion with their ROVs.
Their P-150 from 2001 and their recent purchase in 2013 are used for the inspection of pipes and tanks where the P-300 is not possible to launch. The P-150 provides a solid platform for its compact size and it provides high quality video that Amphi-tech requires for their inspections. At 25" long, 13" wide, and 11" tall, its footprint is impressive considering the amount of sensors it can handle. Since 2001, the design has had minimal changes. It has become lighter by switching from a polypropylene frame to an aluminum chassis. The Chassis is constructed of aluminum and has a hard anodized coating, making it a non-corroding, very resilient frame. Two 120 VAC dimmable lights are mounted with the tilting camera platform which has a range of 180 degrees looking straight up to straight down. There is also the option for a fixed rear facing camera and light which makes the P-150 even more maneuverable in tight conditions. There is even an option for a 4 light, super bright display with two forward facing fixed lights, and two tilting lights. The Needlefish P-150 is easily customizable.
The P-150 is maneuvered by 4, shaft driven 48VDC brushed motors in an oil compensated thruster housing. The P-150 is stable and is easily moveable in any direction. It can strafe laterally, forward, reverse, up and down, all with the intuitive topside joystick controls. Auto depth, camera focus, and camera zoom are all available on the pilot control box as well. The topside console consists of a 17" sunlight viewable monitor, DVR recorder, and a rack mounted power management system all contained in a shippable and mobile SKB box.
There are numerous options and additions to the base vehicle, the majority of them are directly a result of its initial design catering to the nuclear industry. The P-150 was originally designed for but not limited to:
• Upper and Lower Internals, lifts and visual examination
• RWST visuals
• Small object identification and retrieval
• Recirculating piping
• Support of Tri-nuke vacuuming operations, both flange and vessel floor
• Vessel inlet and outlet visual exams
• Vessel Flange pre/post cleaning visual examination
In a recent project, Amphi-tech needed to inspect a large industrial tank as a pro-active measure for a large government agency in their region. If they can find problems, they will be more likely to avoid a sudden plant shut down and be able to plan future maintenance. The P-150 was used for these tasks because the only access to these tanks are small manhole covers at the top of the vessel. Steep access ladders and uneven footing for the workers require a small, lightweight, mobile system to complete their work.
During the inspection they were able to document inconsistencies in the waterproofing of the industrial tank, found a corroded pipe and flange that needed to be replaced, and found a corroded and broken valve that was completely withered away and not in service. The damage was reported to the government agency and they were able to come up with a plan for fixing the issues. The vehicle was used throughout that process as well to monitor the work and to inspect the final completion of the retrofitted equipment.
It comes as no surprise that Amphi-tech is still using their vehicles today, as well as purchasing extra vehicles. Most if not all of the previous sales of the P-150 to the nuclear industry are still being used today as well. When you have an ROV that can work in the harshest of environments, being exposed to radiation for years upon years; it is a testament to the design and reliability that is hard to meet.
Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. is a technology-based engineering and manufacturing company that provides Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) solutions. Deep Oceans Engineering's ROV and USV systems have been utilized in a broad range of industry applications - security, military, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, inshore dams and lakes, oil and gas, scientific research, fisheries, salvage, broadcast filming, and pipeline inspections. Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. is committed to providing our customers a complete integrated solution to their demanding applications. With a wide variety of systems available, Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. can meet the needs of our customers with the most reliable systems available.
Be sure to check out www.deepocean.com and http://www.amphi-tech.se/ for more information.
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