Right on Track - July 2013

Welcome to 'Right On Track' Issue 7, Inuktun’s email newsletter. It is designed to give you a snapshot of product improvements, customer profiles and useful technical tips for your Inuktun gear. In this chapter you will:
  • Discover the latest option for the Versatrax 100 MicroMag™
  • Be introduced to Inuktun Europe's expanded distribution and service centre
  • Learn how High definition (HD) video improves infrastructure analysis

Product News | UT Probe Allows MicroMag™ to Measure Steel Thickness

The latest option for the Versatrax 100 MicroMag™ allows for both non-destructive thickness measurement as well as visual inspection. The mobile robotic inspection vehicle, designed and built by Inuktun Services Ltd. (ISL), can now be customized to include a Cygnus ultrasonic transducer. The UT probe can measure the thickness of steel in pipes, on tank walls and on ship hulls in up to 100ft of water.

Inuktun MicroMag™
Cygnus Mini ROV Thickness Guage
Inuktun MicroMag™ with UT Probe Option

Jeff Christopherson, who specializes in technical sales at ISL, says the new MicroMag™ makes two sets of observations, "one being visual and the other being electronic — the thickness of the steel."

He outlines the application, "You first identify a suspicious area with the camera, clean the area with the integrated wire brush and then measure the steel using the ultrasonic probe." The probe algorithm allows for accurate measurement of the metal thickness even if the steel is painted or lined.

"Very often companies coat the inside of a pipe to prevent corrosion of the steel," he explains. "The Cygnus probe is smart enough to analyze the multiple echoes from a piece of lined steel and factor out the lining thickness."

The UT system can be used to quantify problems with steel structures resulting from wear, corrosion or other environmental factors.

Christopherson describes the MicroMag™ as being "solid and built like a tank, yet capable of operating on vertical surfaces or even upside-down. It’s an excellent deployment vehicle for this sensor."

Christopherson encourages clients to bring their pipe and tank inspection requirements to ISL.

"One of the things that we do very well is assess a customer’s specific requirements and create a customized solution to solve their problems," he says.

Company Profile | Inuktun Expands European Distribution and Service Centre

Inuktun Services Ltd. is boosting its presence in Europe by expanding its Scotland-based distribution and service centre.

Over the past three years, ISL has made major inroads in the European oil and gas and nuclear power markets. Inuktun Europe sells, rents and services ISL's customizable Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and modular robotic systems.

Inuktun Europe
Inuktun Europe
Inuktun Europe

"Inuktun Europe was created to expand our European market and provide a regional servicing facility to support existing customers and future clients," explains Brian Storie, the Director of Inuktun Europe. "Europe is a market that always had great potential for ISL. We're working to realize that potential and making inroads."

Inuktun Europe is based in Aberdeen, Scotland, which is known as the European oil capital.

Storie says that the distribution and service centre is ideally situated for ISL's European clients.

"Aberdeen is the local hub for the oil and gas sector," he explains.

Storie says the expanded distribution and service centre will help ISL better serve clients looking to rent or buy robotic systems. When he initially launched Inuktun Europe in 2010, he worked out of his home.

"Demonstrating rental equipment from home is a bit of a challenge," says Storie with a laugh.

He adds, "In the new premises, we offer product support and servicing of equipment. We've also increased the rental pool."

The new expanded office space also has more room for product maintenance and servicing.

"We've grown from myself being a one-man band to getting our first technician a year and a half ago and we've grown from there," says Storie.

The latest addition to the Inuktun Europe team is Technical Manager Russell Fraser. He has more than 20 years of experience working with surface and downhole tools in the oil and gas industry. Most recently, Fraser was stationed in the Middle East as a general field engineer, working on 3D vertical seismic profile technology among other things.

European companies are particularly interested in ISL products because of their versatility, says Storie. ISL can customize the ROVs and modular robotic systems to suit clients' needs.

The Canadian company, which was founded in 1989, has built a reputation on the reliability, efficiency, quality and cost-effectiveness of its products.

Inuktun Europe is part of the international Inuktun enterprise, which includes American distributor Inuktun US and other global agents in Europe, South America and Asia. The company's headquarters is located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Inuktun Europe

For more information, contact Inuktun Europe by phone at +44.1224.701444 or by email at info@inuktun-europe.com

"In the new premises, we offer product support and servicing of equipment. We've also increased the rental pool." -- Brian Storie, Director / Inuktun Europe Ltd.

Tech Tips | HD Video Allows for Better Infrastructure Analysis

High definition (HD) video is growing in popularity in industrial inspection applications, providing almost six times better resolution than standard definition (SD). Although it was introduced on the consumer side many years ago, HD has only recently become available for industrial use.

Screen Capture from Spectrum 120HD™
Screen Capture from Spectrum 120HD™
Spectrum 120HD™

"Because of the extra resolution, HD video can be very useful in remote inspection applications," says Inuktun Services Ltd. President Colin Dobell. "More details are visible on an HD image than an SD image, allowing for better analysis of infrastructure, such as pipes, tanks and tunnels."

ISL currently sells and rents an HD camera with 1080i resolution, the Spectrum 120HD™, that can be used in air or underwater. The pan, tilt and zoom HD camera records video with more than two million pixels compared to about 345,000 for SD.

"If you want the best resolution and don’t mind paying extra for the camera and associated hardware, HD video is the option to choose," recommends Dobell.

An added benefit of HD is that it is internationally universal.

SD has different formats depending on where you are in the world — PAL and NTSC — and both 50 and 60 hertz frequencies, Dobell explains, "whereas HD video uses the same standard everywhere"

However, he cautions that the technical requirements for HD can still be a challenge.

"New technologies are miniaturizing HD components and making it easier to package and transmit, but longer distance transmissions require fiber optic cables," Dobell says. "Maintaining signal integrity of HD video over multiple connectors and/or slip-rings is very challenging."

He also cautions that HD video files can be very large as uncompressed 1080i video takes up about 10 gigabytes (GB) per minute compared to about four GB per hour for high quality compressed SD video. As well, video overlay of text and graphic information on HD signals is not yet easily accomplished.

Despite these challenges, Dobell says he expects that industrial HD will improve quickly and become the standard for industrial applications in the future.

"Currently SD is still most widely used in industrial applications because it is cheaper, easier to transmit, and industrial hardware is more readily available," he explains. "But we expect within five years that more industrial systems will use HD."

The table below illustrates the main differences between SD and HD for industrial camera systems:

Compare Video Formats
SD - Standard Definition
HD - High Definition
Purchase Cost
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Transmission Distance
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Depth Rating
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Recorded File Size
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Video Overlay Information
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Low Light Capability
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