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Revolutionizing Tank Cleaning: Traditional vs. Robotic Methods

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Cleaning industrial tanks is a critical maintenance step, traditionally handled by trained professional tank cleaners. Nevertheless, such a task represents an extremely hazardous risk to the health and safety of human workers, with further concerns beyond that.

In recent years, cutting-edge innovations in robotics have presented new solutions for industrial tank cleaning. This blog aims to perform a comparative analysis between manual tank cleaning methods, and those offered by robotic tank cleaning. We’ll focus on aspects revolving around safety, efficiency, environmental impacts, and cost-effectiveness, with real-world case studies to illustrate said examples.

Traditional Industrial Tank Cleaning

Manual tank cleaning by trained professionals has been the industry norm for decades. Albeit involving significant risks and challenges, including exposure to toxic chemicals in confined spaces, falling hazards, and fire outbreaks and explosions, industrial tank cleaning is a required maintenance process generally handled by human workers.

Risks Involved for Cleaning Professionals

The risks associated with manual tank cleaning methods put employees at risk during the cleaning process and can have consequences beyond that, including lasting implications to an employee’s health. These are some widely known examples:

  • Confined spaces: poor ventilation and oxygen deprivation are severe immediate dangers to workers
  • Hazardous chemicals: chemical burns and toxicity leading to short- and long-term health problems
  • Other Occupational Hazards: individuals are at risk of slips, falls, fires and explosions, and cuts in small spaces

Consequently, these and other risks press the need for extensive safety measures, including health and safety assessments, which may lead to constraints in productivity, delaying the prompt completion of tank-cleaning operations.

Robotic Tank Cleaning

From the get-go, robotic tank cleaning eliminates the need for setup, scaffolding, and the direct involvement of human workers. Innovations in the field have offered extremely hazardous tasks, like industrial tank cleaning, a game-changer solution.

Benefits of Robotic Tank Cleaning

  • Enhanced safety: using robotics obliterates the need to place human workers in confined spaces
  • Environmental benefits: higher efficiency of robots reduces water usage and waste
  • Increased Efficiency: faster cleaning, instantly reducing on-site downtime
  • Cost-Effectiveness: long-term cost analyses suggest financial savings for companies using robotics as opposed to traditional methods
  • Reliability: minimized human error and more efficient task performance

Robotic tank cleaning immediately eliminates the risks associated with human workers in confined toxic spaces, and highly specialized innovations in robotics significantly reduce cleaning times and potential errors that often arise with traditional manual tank cleaning methods. Lastly, robots need fewer resources and their use represents a great financial solution for companies seeking tank cleaning services.

Ecorobotics Case Studies

Clarifier Tank Sludge Removal in Southeast Texas Petro-Chemical Plant

The aim of this project was to clean tanks with heavily accumulated sludge. The individual tank’s dimensions were 85’ diameter x 30’ height with 24” coned floor. Our Ecorobotics team approached this task with our H5 Robotic System, which includes a vacuum, processing, and an H5 robot.

According to our in-depth project analysis, conventional tank cleaning methods would have meant this project would have been completed in 138 days, with over 1,300 hours of confined space entry.

This is why Ecorobotics stepped in. With our cutting-edge robotic systems, we completed this project to immaculate standards in just 29 days and with 0 hours of confined space entry, immediately eliminating the risks associated with confined entry for human workers.

Water Tank Treatment Sludge Removal in Gulf Coast Petro-Chemical Plant

This project tackled sludge removal from a concrete basin tank. Our H5 Robotic System, featuring a vacuum, processing, and an H5 robot completed the clean-up in 8 days, working at an astonishing rate of 560 barrels per day.

Bulk Removal in Spill Tank in the Midwest Chemical Plant

Approaching this project using conventional material removal techniques would have meant 67 days of delay, including 670 hours of confined entry space and associated considerations for human workers. Our cutting-edge robotic systems transformed downtime, with the project completed in 11 days, removing barrels at a rate of 918 barrels per day.

Why Ecorobotics?

We specialize in industrial cleaning robotics, and our comprehensive range of services includes industrial cleaning for:

  • Chemical plants
  • Pulp and paper mills
  • Municipality
  • Oil and gas
  • Agriculture
  • Power plants

Additionally, our innovative systems can replace an entire professional crew, keeping your team out of danger and surpassing the common setbacks faced by employees, and that generally hinder the completion of industrial tank cleaning projects.

Ecorobotics technology will instantly lessen the costs associated with manual cleaning methods, with our clients experiencing a 20% to 25% reduction in costs when they hire our robotics services.

Our Services

Clean and Refined Product Tanks

We can service any size tank and our technology allows us to address different internal tank conditions, such as extreme pH imbalances and chemical intermediates. Our equipment is also designed to perform 24-hour shifts with no downtime, helping our clients achieve cleaning operations faster.

Sludge and Residue Removal

Top-of-the-line Ecorobotics technology is designed to remove sludge from tasks, ditches, sumps, and more while keeping waste generation and disposal costs at the minimum. Typically, our robotics technology can work at a rate of 500 to 700 barrels per day per 12-hour shift.

Final Remarks

Our robot-driven tank cleaning services present a myriad of benefits over conventional industry tank cleaning techniques. Contact us today for enhanced to substantial cost savings, as well as minimization of occupational hazards for human workers.

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