Video looks for leaks

20 November 2009

This video-based software from Siemens Industry Solutions, called ViaCC, detects leaks in an industrial environment. It recognises smoke, fumes, leaking liquids and colours and allows process data to be inserted into its images.

Siemens ViaCC looking for leaks
Siemens ViaCC looking for leaks

In industrial environments, undetected leaks can lead to unplanned downtime and — for example in the case of oil — to pollution of the environment. Leaks at valves and at critical transfer points need to be identified as quickly as possible.

However, loss of pressure, temperature changes, and the development of fumes or smoke are all difficult to monitor and results are often inaccurate at best. In many cases, there is no suitable sensor system, or installing one would be too expensive. Moreover, specialised sensors can only detect specific types of leaks. The video sensor that Siemens is proposing is a software based sensor, considered an extension to conventional sensors in an automated environment.

The ViaCC software is for video analysis. It contains methods for detecting edges, colours, movements, and so on. The detection methods can be combined with one another.

Up to twelve cameras record and transmit about 200 images per second to each server.

That software is intended to be fully integrated into an automation system. Siemens says it will work with a range of automation systems, such as T2000/3000 and PCS 7, or even into third-party systems via a gateway.

The automation state and the live situation are directly coupled. This enables process data to be inserted directly into a video image and saved. Images can also be displayed and/or recorded as a function of the process. The video detection data, for example of an edge deviation or a colour change, are then fed back into the automation system.

The live images of a fault enable service to be better planned with appropriate spare parts and tools. The subsequent analysis of the video data showing the course of a fault can be used later as the basis for future optimisation measures to increase plant availability.

The ViaCC video analysis is used to monitor critical sections of pipelines and detect smoldering fires and smoke in enclosed spaces. It can also be adapted for use in specific industries and to customer requirements by combining the various detection methods.

Further information about ViaCC can be found at:

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