Case Study: Confined space drone inspection completed in tenth of traditional time


A major client challenged Bilfinger to deliver an alternative method of undertaking confined space visual inspection in a Bulk Storage Tank (BST), using new technologies. 

The client had historically scaffolded the bulk storage tank which took a scaffold crew around 4 to 5 days to install before an inspector could enter the tank and carry out a visual inspection.

Solution: Elios 2 Drone - Safer, Faster, More Efficient

Bilfinger‘s CAA-approved drone pilot operated our industry-leading confined spacedrone, the Elios 2, to carry out a detailed visual inspection of the tanks. The Elios 2 drone is protected by a carbon fibre cage that removes risk to personnel in hazardous environments and offers substantial cost savings in comparison to conventional confined space and rope access / scaffolding activities.

With an overall dimension of just 40cm (15.7”), the ultra-lightweight Elios 2 provides high quality footage from its 4k camera, with features including oblique lighting, full HD live streaming and a photogrammetry mode. Its compact nature, controllability and high-resolution output makes it ideal for tanks and other confined spaces.


Our drone pilot operated our Elios 2 and completed the visual inspection of the BST in less than 4 hours with no need for personnel entry into the tank, resulting in substantial cost  and time savings for our client whilst keeping risk to personnel to an absolute minimum. 

On workscope completion, our client was delighted with the results and commented that:

Using the Elios 2 drone has avoided the risk of confined space entry for prolonged periods and helped us avoid possible damage from scaffold to the lining on the lower section of the vessel.

  • Want to know more about the Elios 2? Contact Gareth Owen, Project Engineer.