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Terminal News

Vopak develops innovation pilots in Singapore

Vopak develops innovation pilots in Singapore
Vopak is piloting the use of drones and robots at its Singapore terminal as part of a package of eight global digital projects.

The company is using drones and robots to achieve safer inspections and it is also trialling a digital vessel clearance tool for faster, better and safer clearance process.

Tan Soo Koong, managing director of Vopak Terminals Singapore, says: 'With support from the Singapore Economic Development Board, we have embarked on a digital and innovative transformation journey to make smart terminals a reality.

'In the period 2017-2019 Vopak is investing €100 million in technology, IT and innovation, and a part of it is used to power four of our eight global digital projects in Singapore, driving the company's competitiveness in serving the industry safely and opening up new opportunities for our people.'

The new initiatives tested include drone inspection, jetty inspection using an underwater remote operated vehicle, digital vessel clearance tool and robots for in-service tank inspection.

These initiatives will drive the digital transformation of the industry, leveraging on technology such as IIoT, big data analytics, sensoring, mobile device and robotics to create a safer, sustainable and more productive workplace.

The use of robots for in-service tank inspection avoids sending staff into confined spaces, minimise the exposure of personnel to potentially hazardous conditions, reduce downtime and waste water generation, and save resources. Additionally, the robots can already be used to inspect jetties and pipelines, while drones are being tested for the internal inspection of tanks.

The company's digital vessel clearance tool allows operator to tap on internal data-driven platforms to automatically clear vessels in just four clicks and can provide customers with the latest information on when the terminal can accommodate incoming vessels. This tool is now available at all of its four terminals in Singapore.

Khalil A. Bakar, deputy director, energy and resources at the Singapore Economic Development Board, says: 'Such investments will help catalyse the digital transformation of our energy & chemicals industry and strengthen the competitiveness of our local ecosystem.'

Earlier this year, Vopak tested the use of innovative sensors to monitor the health of product pumps and rolled out the use of ATEX proof mobile devices at the terminals to improve work processes at the terminal and become predictive.