Skip to main content

Digital Insight – From Taranaki inception to multi-million dollar sale

By Neil Ritchie

THE multi-million-dollar purchase of Inglewood-based video inspection specialists Digital Insight Ltd by global asset integrity and reliability management company Quest Integrity Group is testament to Taranaki’s ability to produce world-class businesses.


While the purchase price paid by Seattle-headquartered Quest Integrity for Digital Insight is confidential, it is likely to be several million Greenback dollars.

That’s not bad for a company started by Inglewood couple Ash and Fiona Peters in 1999 and operated from their basement for the first six years until a booming business necessitated a move to larger premises during 2005.

However, neither the Peters nor DIL moved far -- just to rural Upper Lepper Road on the outskirts of the north Taranaki town.

Below: Ash Peters, who started the successful business Digital Insight from his base in Inglewood, located in front of the the scenic Mount Taranaki and the region's lush green landscape, has resulted in a multi-million sale to Quest Integrity Group.

Now DIL is the leading company in the world dedicated to remote digital video inspection (RDVI), with many of the nine fulltime staff and part-timers spending most of their time overseas, carrying out sophisticated inspections of some giant industrial complexes such as oil refineries and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants. Annual turnover is several million Kiwi dollars.

Initially DIL concentrated on New Zealand, servicing such energy firms as Maui and Kapuni field operator Shell Todd Oil Services, Contact Energy, Mighty River Power, Kapuni ammonia urea plant operator Ballance Agri-Nutrients and non-energy companies global dairy giant Fonterra and Carter Holt Harvey.

However, the smallness of the Kiwi scene soon saw DIL go overseas, where the majority of its work has been for several years.

And Ash estimates DIL’s services in Australia, Asia, North America and the Middle East has saved clients billions of dollars over the years through increased operational time of their industrial complexes, more production and profits.

Its RDVI procedures primarily involve taking digital cameras, some as small as a match-head, into the inner sanctums of equipment used in such projects as oil refineries and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

It has constantly reviewed and refined its RDVI services, developing new equipment and cameras to be used for on-line visual inspections, including complete inspections in hazardous methane environments using non-intrinsically safe camera equipment.

DIL has also been involved in writing its own computer software for the various remote digital cameras and other sensing devices it uses.

Some of its services can be built into the front end engineering and design (FEED) stage of projects, before the plants are even operational, enabling subsequent inspections to be made while plants are still running.

And its services also have the potential to dovetail nicely with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) procedures and other risk-based inspection systems.

Ash believes one of DIL’s attractions for Quest -- which has offices in several US cities, the Middle East, Netherlands, Canada,  Brisbane and Wellington -- was the “win, win” scenario so often realised for clients -- savings in the cost of construction, savings in shutdown costs, and savings through increased production.

“And it’s the ability to draw on the technology and experience of Quest that will help drive our objective of bringing globally innovative, leading technology to our clients,” says Ash.

“Our services, combined with Quest Integrity’s service quality, deep engineering expertise and extensive customer relationships, will allow us to continue building our position as the world leader in RDVI technology.

“Our team is delighted to now be part of Quest Integrity Group.”

And Quest’s Asia-Pacific vice-president Andy Saunders is equally effusive about welcoming DIL, a market leader in the rapidly growing inspection technology area, into the Quest stable.

“The synergies with our existing business portfolio, particularly in advanced inspection and engineering assessment, align strongly with our core strategic growth aspirations in the energy sector.”

DIL’s RDVI technology will be branded as Digital Insight™ under the Quest Integrity Group name and all DIL’s business functions, including operations and administrative functions, will be integrated with Quest Integrity.

In recent years, Ash and some of his team have spent months in Perth, one of the recognised energy capitals of the world, and Houston, an even global energy capital, working for a variety of clients.

“We have had a number of trips to Texas and to Western Australia that have been hugely successful for us and for them.”

He says the Kiwi ingenuity and laid-back lifestyle astounded professional Houston people, who when they think of a head office, think of big glass high-rise towers in the middle of a city.

 “They could not believe we operated from some sheds in rural Taranaki in such a beautiful environment, the rolling green paddocks and surrounded by animals.

“Not bad for a Kiwi company, eh?”

 Related pages

View Digital Insight profile on the New Zealand O&G Capability Database