Improving Corrosion Detection with AI and Human Workers
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The word corrosion may be from the same Latin root as “rodent”, but there is nothing small or cute about it. According to NACE, the total global cost of corrosion is around US$2.5 trillion.

Corrosion or rust is no small problem for infrastructure management, where failing to detect corrosion, or underestimating the potential risk, can have deadly consequences. Many industries, such as energy and utilities, automotive, transportation, and chemical, face risks and losses due to corrosion damage - from ongoing maintenance to catastrophic failure.  Heavy industries including transportation and oil and gas have their work cut out to constantly and vigilantly inspect, detect, and manage corrosion across vast infrastructures. 

The infrastructures we’re talking about are typically very large and often located in remote or hazardous environments. Think oil rigs. Oil tankers. Ship hulls. Bridges. Inspecting for corrosion involves painstaking surveying in hazardous conditions to gather visual data. 

De-risking corrosion data collection / The Safety/Efficiency Tradeoff

Equipment inspection is cost-intensive and often dangerous. Advances in de-risking corrosion data collection - for example drones, remote cameras, streaming video - have mitigated some of the human risk involved in collecting corrosion data. 

But now, with hours of video footage and stacks of images in hand, offsite, experienced corrosion professionals are tasked with reviewing and assessing the unstructured data to detect possible corrosion. 

Manually inspecting visual data captured in video and images takes significant time: it’s now out of context, so looking at images and videos and gleaning information from those images/videos requires hours of focus from highly experienced corrosion professionals to review and assess at the required level of detail.

The new danger zone / Where is corrosion detection stuck?

After eliminating the need for someone to physically climb to the top of the bridge or navigate beneath an oil rig, the new challenge is reviewing the data offsite.

Effective corrosion inspection and detection require expert knowledge. Today, corrosion detection knowledge and expertise is found among highly skilled and experienced professionals, often with 30+ years in their field. 

Corrosion Management System (CMS) best practices highlight a new risk for corrosion detection: Skills shortages. Existing corrosion expertise is set to retire, taking depth and breadth of corrosion experience with them, leaving knowledge gaps that can pose serious risks to corrosion detection without clear replacements ready to take the reins. Organizations may have training and mentorship programs in place, but often promising talent is not attracted to, or lured away from, corrosion as a career path. 

What about automation?

Automation technology like robotic process automation (RPA) is making rapid headway to transform business processes. But there’s a catch: typical automation tools still can’t analyze unstructured data from video and images, which is the core data set for corrosion detection.

And while processing unstructured data can be done with artificial intelligence (AI) models, for the vast majority of organizations and industries, building proprietary AI tools is out of reach both in terms of required human resources as well as time and cost.  And ready-made AI tools still need extensive training and tailoring to your specific industry and the domain of corrosion knowledge.

Solution: Your experts + work-ready AI

There’s another approach that brings together the best of both worlds: AI-driven automation that’s built to capture expert knowledge, quickly.

Super.AI applies flexible, configurable, ready-right-out-of-the-box AI for corrosion detection that’s built to bring expert knowledge into the loop. Capture expertise from your highly skilled and experienced corrosion professionals to preserve and scale their knowledge. Here’s a quick demo.

Think of it as the ultimate augmentation of your workforce that delivers a win-win-win for corrosion detection: increased quality, effectiveness, and efficiency in detecting corrosion, that simultaneously reduces costs and alleviates the heavy burden of unstructured data review from your limited pool of corrosion resources. 


What can you do with the savings? Stay ahead of the curve on corrosion by investing in training and upskilling your next generation of talent so they can work side-by-side with AI to continue to raise the bar on corrosion detection.

Book a personalized demo today to take a closer look and see what Super.AI’s flexible, work-ready, AI-driven automation for unstructured data processing can do for corrosion detection.


Manish Rai
VP of Marketing
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