The Sonar Tank Tool performing a tank inspection

SONAR Tank Tool

The floors of storage tanks can be susceptible to internal and/or external corrosion which may lead to failure with severe consequences. Safe management of tanks therefore relies on inspection of the floor at appropriate intervals. Historically, this inspection has been carried out by tools and techniques that rely on internal man entry following emptying and cleaning. This type of inspection relies on the tanks being taken out of service.

Sonomatic has developed and applies robotic technologies to deploy its world-leading automated corrosion mapping to tank floors in-service. This approach gives a high degree of assurance of tank floor integrity while avoiding the need for costly shutdowns and minimising the hazards associated with confined space entry.

SONAR Robotic Inspection Range

Sonomatic brings over thirty years of expertise in inspecting tanks and vessels under the API 653 and API 575 standards. Our extensive experience includes more than 5 years dedicated to the development and deployment of robotic cleaning and inspection systems, catering to clients globally.

At the forefront of our robotic solutions is SONAR, representing a diverse range of robotics designed for tank floor inspections. Our fleet comprises of over ten specialised robots, each

optimised for different applications. This strategic approach arises from the realisation that attempting to create a one-size-fits-all robot for all tanks proved ineffective.

These robots have undergone rigorous validation trials, establishing their reliability. They are ready for deployment in a variety of environments, including crude, condensate, class II fuels, and water. Our robotic tank floor capabilities seamlessly integrate into a comprehensive inspection offering, allowing us to deliver an API 653 or EEMUA 159 compliant inspection while the tank remains operational throughout the process.

A banner collage image showing off the range of Sonar Robotic inspection tools available for NDT inspection
A banner collage image showing off the range of Sonar Robotic inspection tools available for NDT inspection

Robots are available to enter through 3.5 inch nozzles upwards and range in weight from 20kgs to 500kgs. Sonomatic RAIS’ inspection approach provides 100% coverage of the tank floor by means of Acoustic Emission (AE) testing supported by Franscan PAUT and SRUT testing and performed prior to in-service ultrasonic inspection.

This approach allows the focusing of the tank robot deployed UT system into areas of the tank floor that have been highlighted as areas of interest by the AE and SRUT inspection technologies.


A diagram showing the capabilities of cleaning and de-sludging with the correct tank tools

Ensuring effective cleaning is paramount for a dependable ultrasonic inspection. Various cleaning system options are available, tailored to specific requirements. These include the use of scraper/brushes, suction mechanisms, filters, and the discharge of clean fluid ahead of probes. Additionally, the removal of heavy sludges is achieved by pumping them out of the tank.

Other Services Inculde:
  • Desludging (and waste management)
  • Comprehensive In-Service Inspection
  • Tank shell and roof
  • Annular plate
  • Shell to floor welds
  • Advanced robotic UT tank floor inspection
  • Internal Visual Inspection (dependent on product type)
  • Settlement survey
A GIF of a Sonar Robotic Inspection Cleaning Robot in the process of cleaning a surface
Different robots according to tank and product type:
  • Hydraulic for heavy hydrocarbons
  • Electric for light hydrocarbons/water
  • Manual inspection tools for light hydrocarbons/water
  • ROV visual and UT swimmer for water
  • Sludge and sediment cleaning robots
  • Cleaning robots with PAUT probes, vacuum brush and auger.
  • Cleaning robots with water jet auger & 6” vacuum tube.
  • Cleaning robots with PAUT probes, ATEX camera and 2” vacuum suction pump
The Sonar Tank Tool performing a tank inspection
Advanced features of SONAR robotics range include:
  • Integration with Sonomatic's inspection project management and analysis software (Multimap)
  • Purge system for products below 37.5°C flashpoints
  • Advanced navigation system
  • Camera & light system (optional depending on product)
  • Umbilical cord & carrier with 106m to 115m cable length
  • Sonomatic advacned ultrasonic immersion transducers system
  • Temperature range 20°C to 50°C
  • Suction & discharge pumps (optional)

Get in touch with us today!