Enhancing Camera Inspections Through Versatility

Underground Eyes relies on a diverse lineup of inspection accessories to increase productivity.

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Different cameras for different applications. That’s the philosophy at Underground Eyes in West Blocton, Alabama. The company relies on camera trucks outfitted by Aries Industries and RapidView (which makes IBAK inspection camera systems).

The Aries truck is equipped with an LETS 2165 tractor-mounted lateral-launch camera. The RapidView trucks feature LISY lateral-launch tractors made by IBAK Helmut Hunger GmbH & Co.; each tractor carries a RapidView Orion-L lateral-inspection camera.

The Aries camera is used primarily for specialty work in smaller pipes because it features a smaller camera head, says Ron Robichaux, the company’s project manager. He lauds the camera’s self-centering iris, which automatically centers itself in a lateral, no matter which way it is launched. “You’re never upside down or sideways,” he says. “It gives customers a much better perspective of the pipe.”

The IBAK features a rotating camera head. “It’s good for getting a closer look at an imperfection. You can rotate the camera head 360 degrees to get a better look at it,” he says. “With a self-centering head, you can only look at things straight on. It all depends on the project.”

Another difference is the IBAK tractor features four wheels and the Aries tractor uses crawlers. Each has its own advantages, Robichaux notes. Wheels can be changed to adapt to different applications — larger wheels for larger-diameter pipes, for example. “Or if the conditions are slippery, you can put studded wheels on it for better traction,” he says.

Crawlers can also be adapted for various applications, such as wider crawlers that allow the unit to maintain its balance in larger-diameter pipes. “But you can’t adjust the traction on crawlers,” he says.

Both cameras feature color monitors and produce high-resolution videos that can be downloaded, then transferred to flash drives or burned onto DVDs for customers. “It’s amazing how this stuff works,” he says.

In addition, the IBAK can also carry a water jetter nozzle head, which enables it to simultaneously clean and inspect a lateral line with entry from just one manhole, enhancing productivity, Robichaux says.


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