Inspection cameras : What, Where, When ?
Inspection cameras are part of the Remote Visual Inspections (RVI) range of products.
One set of inspection camera usually includes the following pieces of equipment :
- Control unit with live video monitoring, as well as various functionalities : video recording, text overlay, camera control :(pan, tilt, focus, light)
- Camera head : from 20 mm to 200 mm. The camera head can be forward view only (smaller diameters) or pan & tilt (from 28 mm onwards). Lighting is provided by LEDs mounted on the camera head.
- The camera head is being moved through various systems : flexible cable, push rod, telescopic pole, crawler. Its maximum range is linked to the system used but can reach up to several hundred meters with crawlers.
- Some accessories usually complete the system to improve ergonomics and performance : centering devices to have the camera in the center of the pipe for orbital weld inspection, measurement systems via laser, additional lighting.
When to use an inspection camera ?
The traditional markets for inspection cameras are the sewer, drilling and chimney markets.
- The sewer market needs relatively big size pan and tilt cameras combined with heavy weight long distance crawlers in order to progress through sewer pipes. Generation of inspection reports according to European standards is also required.
- The drilling market requires vertical long distance systems with strong waterproofness (up to 100 bars). Laser solutions are often embedded in the camera for telemetry.
- Chimney market is driven by costs and the cameras tend to be lower quality and robustness.
There’s in fact very limited offer as far as industrial markets are concerned. The applications in those markets are very different from one another and inspection cameras have often been developed on demand. Videoscopes tend to fill this offer gap even though they are not always fully fitted to the application.
Smaller size, focus from contact to infinity, specific lighting and modular moving systems are some of the key requirements for industrial markets.