Conventional silo inspections can be costly and time-consuming, as well as being potentially risky for service personnel. However, this task is important as skipping regular silo inspections can result in costly repairs or even catastrophic failure. To tackle this issue safely and speedily, Astec developed its Silobot robot, which allows a trained technician to stand outside while carrying out an inspection of the silo interior. The Silobot unit features magnets inside its wheels, which hold it securely to the inside of a silo while also allowing to move around freely to carry out the inspection. The unit is equipped with high intensity lights as well as a high-quality video camera, allowing footage to be recorded during the inspection. The technician then operates the unit using a conventional remote control system. Using this machine, the inspection process takes under two hours to examine all silo welds, which is said to be considerably quicker than a conventional inspection process. The firm points out that regular inspections allow the user to carry out preventative maintenance that will extend silo life and reduce overall costs as a result.
Following the inspection, the customer is provided with video captured by the Silobot inspection device. That same video is be to produce a detailed report including any recommendations for repairs and maintenance.