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EM&I remote camera technology given ATEX (Ex) approval

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Oilfield Technology,

EM&I has announced that its NoMan® remote camera technology has been given ATEX (Ex) approval.

There are many regulatory requirements for the visual inspection of equipment and structures in areas which may contain flammable gases in order to assess their integrity. Such areas include for example confined spaces such as cargo oil tanks on tankers or floating production assets (e.g., FPSOs), onshore oil storage tanks and pressure vessels, and also other zoned hazardous areas in refineries, chemical works etc.

Due to the significant health and safety risks involved in carrying out these inspections, particularly in confined spaces, remote inspections methods which do not require people to enter the confined space are preferable provided they can provide an equivalent or better inspection result.

Many industry bodies such as the HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques & Strategy) joint industry project, and IMO (International Maritime Organization) are working towards reducing the risk to people by finding alternatives to confined space entry, as well as working at height, the latter often being an additional requirement.

The NoMan optical system has been used successfully over the last four years to provide equivalent or better inspection data to that produced by people entering confined space.

The NoMan laser system has recently been approved by DNV with other class approvals expected soon.

The preparation for confined space manned entry is costly and arduous because it requires physical isolation from sources of flammable material (blinding of piping, removal of gauges and instruments etc.), cleaning, gas freeing and continuous ventilation whilst people are inside the space. Recommissioning is also time consuming and adds further costs, with the overall process resulting safety risk, cost, and unavailability of tanks.

The standard NoMan camera systems already reduce risk, cost, and time, but the NoMan DEKRA ATEX certified equipment reduces risk, preparation, and recommissioning time, further.

Commenting on this major new development, Danny Constantinis, (Executive Chairman) of the EM&I Group stated: "The DEKRA NoMan ATEX certified cameras bring a new era of safer and more efficient inspection of zoned areas, and confined spaces on both offshore and onshore plants."

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