The Origin of the Industry
Founded in 1945 as a small consulting engineering firm, IBAK is today the world leading supplier of pipe inspection systems. For more than 70 years, customers all over the world have benefited from the great experience of this company with a tradition of innovation and quality manufacturing. IBAK designs and manufactures modular TV inspection systems with features which are unique in terms of function and technology. Over the decades since IBAK invented the sewer camera, it has been responsible for the majority of innovations in the industry. With over 15% of the company working in research and development, IBAK is committed to being at the forefront of technological innovation in the sewer inspection and rehabilitation markets.
IBAK invented the sewer camera in 1957. In the 1960’s they invented the first completely remote-controlled sewer inspection system using a tractor system, and the first camera capable of changing its viewing angle. The first mechanical pan and tilt camera was created in 1980, followed by the first computer software for pipeline observation reporting in 1989.
In 1993, IBAK invented the first lateral launching system for inspecting laterals from the mainline, and the first always-upright pan & tilt camera. The first pan & tilt camera for 4” and push systems was introduced in 2000.
In 2002, IBAK introduced the truly revolutionary 360º PANORAMO camera system, which utilizes two hemispherical cameras to inspect pipelines with greater speed, reliability, and accuracy than any traditional system. While other side-scanning cameras had been used for years, this system gave users a complete 360º perspective view of the inside of the pipeline, increasing observational accuracy by as much as 40%. This system also utilized the first commercially available fiber optic cable system which was required for the massive amounts of data produced by the PANORAMO system. Over the intervening years fiber optic cables proved to be superior to normal coax technology, as they are lighter, more flexible and do not suffer from becoming brittle and breaking with continued long-term use.
In 2006, the PANORAMO mainline camera system was adapted for use in manholes and was introduced as the PANORAMO SI for use in shafts, manholes and other vertical cavities. This technology revolutionized the inspection of these spaces, providing data and images that were impossible before, including a three-dimensional scan of the interior. This allows measurement of internal features, and results in a very accurate three-dimensional model of the structure. Because all this data was captured without the need for manned entry, it greatly increased inspector safety.
In 2013, IBAK produced the first in a series of integrated rehabilitation cutters and grinders that work with their standard video inspection systems. These systems utilize similar control systems and have evolved over the last decade to include a variety of rehabilitation tools, powerful all-electric systems, and versatile air-motor systems.
In 2013, IBAK introduced the first fully integrated, completely digital HD systems utilizing the benefits of the fiber optic cable systems. IBAK’s Digital HD systems do not have to rely on antiquated coax cable, and do not need to be compressed or suffer from interference inherent in traditional coax systems.
In 2016, IBAK introduced the 3DGeosense systems for tracking a camera’s position in space, in real time, during the inspection. Now, users can map their inspections in three-dimensional space and create accurate data regarding pipe position and orientation.
In 2018, IBAK introduced the PANORAMO 4K series which is a hi-res version of the popular PANORAMO technology. 4K systems are available for pipelines and manhole inspection systems. These new versions provide an even higher level of detail and image quality.
Many of IBAK’s technological breakthroughs have become standards over the years as the tools for asset inspection have evolved. IBAK continues this trend with its groundbreaking work with artificial intelligence systems and other technologies that seek to make inspections quicker, safer, and more effective. They look forward to the next 70 years of innovation.