Product Spotlight - October 2020

Product Spotlight - October 2020

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Manhole inspections can often be tricky tasks. Pole cameras and other manual camera systems that allow the inspection crew to stay outside the manhole can be unwieldy and difficult to use. Of course, physical inspection presents its own set of inherent dangers and hassles with confined-space entry.

However, new technology has allowed technicians to get a detailed view of a manhole without the drawbacks. The PANORAMO SI 4K from RapidView IBAK North America uses two high-resolution digital cameras with 185-degree fisheye lenses. These are installed on the topside and underside of the cameras and take hemispherical photos at 2-inch intervals. The photos are put together to form spherical images, thus enabling creation of a true 3D interior view of the manhole. With the image files generated in this way, the perspective from which you view an event or a defect is freely selectable, and a virtual manhole inspection and the measurement of defects are also possible in the office.

“Not only is this safer, but it also allows a crew to inspect more manholes in a day,” says Matt Sutton, vice president of sales and marketing for RapidView IBAK North America.

The xenon flash lighting permits pin-sharp images to be generated in spite of the high scanning speed. The result is an image that is much more brilliant still with 4K resolution on the 360-degree photos. This means that the resolution is four times as high as full high definition. To achieve such brilliance and to allow this high resolution to be displayed on the monitor and stored, the transmission path has been revolutionized.

A newly designed small cable reel with 39 feet of camera cable can be installed in the vehicle or taken out of the vehicle and used in battery operation with an associated portable rack device. This enables inspection of even hard-to-access manholes.

“The technology to scan manholes in this method has been on the market for a while, but the devices have been heavy and cumbersome, needing to be installed in a truck,” Sutton says. “Our customers asked for the unit to be lighter, more compact and easier to move around. So the tech is the same as our larger manhole scanners, but we’ve made the PANORAMO SI 4K a truly portable system.” 800-656-4225;


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