Feature ArticleNeedlefish P-150 Inspects Swedish Industrial Tank
By A.J. Cecchettini
With increasing demand in ROV-related operations in the Nordic region, Amphi-tech (Askersund, Sweden) purchased in April 2013 a Needlefish P-150, their fourth vehicle purchase from Deep Ocean Engineering Inc. (San Jose, California) to date. Amphi-tech bought a predecessor, one of the original Phantom 300s (P-300), in 1997 and two Phantom-150e ROVs—one in 1999 and one in 2001—that are all still being used today.
The Needlefish P-150 is lightweight, compact and easily launched and retrieved. Here, an Amphi-tech employee deploys the P-150 into a small access hatch.
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.
It is not uncommon for Amphi-tech to travel more than 1,000 kilometers to a job site, which places high demands on the equipment because failure is incredibly costly for both the client and the contractor.
Amphi-tech has a complete equipment suite for surveying, inspection and examination of underwater fauna and their associated habitats. The Phantom 300 that is nearly 17 years old and still in use has been used for advanced internal measurement of power plant tunnels via sonar profiling, identification and investigation 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, and searching for missing boats and bodies.
In recent years, seabed mapping demand has increased in the commercial sector in Amphi-tech’s home base. Amphi-tech focuses primarily on inland lakes that require a small boat and light equipment. Their aim is to map the bottom for items that can disrupt upcoming project work. They carry out the design for the project and determine whether the work was done correctly, all while documenting the progress and completion with their ROVs.
Amphi-tech’s two P-150e ROVs bought in 1999 and 2001 and their recent purchase in 2013 are used for the inspection of pipes and tanks in areas where it is not possible to launch the P-300. The Needlefish P-150 provides a solid platform for its compact size, as well as high-quality video that Amphi-tech requires for their inspections. It is 25 inches long, 13 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Since 1999, the design has had minimal changes. It has become lighter by switching from a polypropylene frame to an aluminum chassis. The chassis has a hard, anodized coating, making it a noncorroding, very resilient frame. Two 120-volt AC dimmable lights are mounted with the tilting camera platform, which has a range of 180 degrees up and down. There is also the option for a fixed, rear-facing camera and lights, which makes the P-150 maneuverable in tight conditions. A four-light, super-bright display, with two forward-facing, fixed lights and two tilting lights can be added. To continue this article please click here.
A.J. Cecchettini has worked with ROVs since his undergraduate and graduate work at the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology at California State University, Monterey Bay. Since working for Deep Ocean Engineering Inc., he has built ROVs and has recently made the switch to sales engineer.