On October 25th, 2016, the PETROBOT Project Closing Seminar took place at the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The event hosted approximately 160 people, representing roughly 110 different companies , ranging from oil and gas companies, robotic technology developers, NDT service providers, knowledge centers, academia, regulators, and more.
The various presentations can be downloaded by following the below links:
In November and December 2015, the FAST and BIKE platforms, as well as the Snake-arm robot, was tested in 4 different pressure vessels at Shell Europoort. The objective of these trials was to deploy the robots, mounted with NDT tools (camera, profilometer, eddy current and UT), in the pressure vessels and assess the functionality of the robots. Several aspects related to safe deployment and retrieval of the robots through side and top man-way in horizontal and vertical vessels were tested. All the robots were able to enter in all types of vessels and demonstrated an acceptable level of operational readiness. In addition, a real field evaluation of the robots was done at Shell Pernis late 2015 and the inspection results from the robotic inspection are being evaluated.
Throughout the process we captured video of the trials and produced a small video to explain what we did. Please enjoy it below.
The 2nd year EU Review of the PETROBOT project took place on Thursday, 17 December 2015. The event was hosted by A.Hak Industrial Services in Tricht, The Netherlands.
The project progress was reviewed by a panel of experts from the petrochemical, inspection and robotics industries. The PETROBOT team presented the work and results achieved during the 2nd year of the project, with each of the work packages giving presentations on the progress made during the year, the status of their deliverables, and also the activities planned for the final year of the project. The project’s scientific advisory board also attended the event.
Each of the 4 robotic platforms and the associated inspection equipment that have been developed during the PETROBOT project were demonstrated to the Review Board. A new video was also presented, demonstrating the field testing of the pressure vessel inspection robots, that took place in Q4, 2015.This new video will be available on our website soon.
The feedback received was very positive, with the Review Board members sharing their appreciation for the progress and commitment of the PETROBOT partners. The demonstrations were well received, creating enthusiasm and excitement concerning the impact of PETROBOT on the future of inspection and maintenance robotics.
“It was great to witness the progress of PETROBOT, I was impressed, and want to thank you all for your very hard work! … Thank you for your commitment to PETROBOT, and I am looking forward to witness the success of your project, it has the potential to have a very large impact on the field, so let’s make it happen!” – Review Board representative
“…I greatly enjoyed the demos and I am impressed about the achievements of the project and the great motivation and atmosphere! These are great times for Robotics inspection and maintenance! After many years in the field I am greatly enjoying to see that the field is taking off and the leading industry is creative, productive and enthusiastic about it!” – Scientific Advisory Board member
The PETROBOT project is now in its final year. There will be some exciting events coming up, such as the project symposium and demonstrations of the PETROBOT robots, which will be announced on our website and social media channels. We believe that 2016 will be a significant year in shaping the future of robotic inspection solutions in the oil and gas industry, and we are truly excited to be part of it!
In the PETROBOT project, robotic solutions are developed for the internal inspection of pressure vessels (FAST platform, BIKE platform and Snake arm) and storage tanks (tank robot).
The FAST and BIKE platforms and the Snake-arm robot were tested in 4 different pressure vessels at Shell Europoort. The objective of these trials was to deploy the robots, mounted with NDT tools (camera, profilometer, eddy current and UT), in the pressure vessels and assess the functionality of the robots. Several aspects related to safe deployment and retrieval of the robots through side and top manway in horizontal and vertical vessels were tested. All the robots were able to enter in all types of vessels and demonstrated an acceptable level of operational readiness. In addition, a real field evaluation of the robots was done at Shell Pernis late 2015 and the inspection results from the robotic inspection are being evaluated.
The trials at Shell Europoort prepared the robots for the field evaluation and also helped to validate procedures for deployment. During the trials, a demonstration was also arranged for the Shell Pernis inspection team, Lloyds Register and other PETROBOT members, and a positive feedback on robotic inspection capabilities was received. With respect to the end goals of the PETROBOT project, these trials were a big step in evaluating performance of the robots in real pressure vessels. The main value drivers for robotic inspection are avoiding human entry in confined space, reducing the time and costs for preparing vessel for human entry and enabling a high quality, consistent method of inspection.
Several of PETROBOT members participated in the Shell Europoort trials, namely Shell, Dekra, Alstom Inspection Robotics, OC Robotics, Innospection and Quasset.
PETROBOT was represented at the NAP 55 years jubilee convention on 12 November 2015 at the ‘Veerensmederij’ in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. NAP is a Process Industry Competence Network aimed at assisting companies active in process industry with formulating and improving policies. The convention hosted many exhibitors and speakers were focused around the impact of breakthrough technologies on the process industry value chain. Shell representatives attended the conference and displayed a model of the PETROBOT Snake-arm, which was received as very interesting and certainly considered a breakthrough technology that may have a large impact on the process industry.
Members of the PETROBOT consortium attended and presented a paper at the 2015 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). The event took place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 9 to 12 November 2015.
One of the largest Oil & Gas exhibition and conferences in the world, ADIPEC was visited by over 85,000 visitors, who had the opportunity to view over 2000 exhibitors and attend over 100 technical sessions of the current and future developments within the industry. Under the appropriate theme of Innovation and Sustainability in a New Energy World, the technical and executive program focused on ways to maximise efficiency and save costs in the current economic climate.
The paper presented by Dekra and OC Robotics summarised the PETROBOT project objectives and activities carried out to date, including the successful trials of the FAST and BIKE platforms that took place at Europoort, The Netherlands, in October 2015. Delivered in the ‘Operational Excellence: Integrity inspection’ technical session, the paper received positive feedback for the aims of improving human safety and reducing asset downtime.
The 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) was attended by members of the PETROBOT project, where we also hosted a booth. The event took place in Hamburg, Germany, from September 28 to October 02, 2015.
IROS is a top international conference in the area of intelligent robotics. The event was attended by approximately 2500 people from around the world, where researchers discussed the cutting edge in robotics. Through the industrial exhibition as well as live demonstrations, students, developers and entrepreneurs seeking the latest developments and applications in robotics could meet and network.
Exhibitors included not only industrial robotic manufacturers and other industry related parties from all parts of the world, but also more than 50 European funded projects exhibited at the conference. This allowed PETROBOT to give high visibility to the EU Robotics Program and gave the project consortium the opportunity to demonstrate its achievements in a tangible way.
The booth was manned by members from Quasset and OC Robotics for the entire duration of the conference, including the Citizens Forum, where we gave visitors an overview of the project. Together with the PETROBOT banners and videos, a ¼ scale model of OC Robotics’ snake-arm robot was also on display to help visitors visualise and understand some of the technology which has been developed. The feedback from visitors and guests was very encouraging as they showed lots of interest in the PETROBOT project and acknowledged and shared our enthusiasm for the meaningful and practical objectives of the project.
The PETROBOT project celebrates its second birthday today. The past year has seen the project advancing from the specification and design phase to the development phase. The project is now in its final year and the robotic inspection solutions are ready for field testing and trials.
We would like to thank all the consortium partners as well as any other parties that have contributed in any way, ensuring the successful progress of the project. We are all looking forward to an exciting final 12 months!
Integration trials have successfully been performed with the SNAKE and DEKRA visual inspection system on a real pressure vessel. The trials were performed on the OC Robotics premises on a cut-open real pressure vessel.
The test phase started to check the integration of the main components. DEKRA checked the functionality of provided parts (NDT tools, primary camera, etc.) together with the robots. The possibility to handle the equipment or the lighting angles are examples of what have been successfully tested.
Integration tests were also performed with the FAST platform built by ALSTOM. This also resulted in some points that need to be taken care of to get the combined system to work properly. “So, we are in a state where tests are focused on functionality. The next testing step will be to focus on inspectability” said Joakim Strand, project leader of Working Package 1.
For all tests, both handleability and inspectability, it is a great advantage to have a real pressure vessel to test on. On test samples you can never simulate the real challenges as good as with a real asset. Tetting access into the vessel, reaching all areas, how to scan efficiently, lighting, etc. are examples of challenges which can be addressed by testing on an actual asset. Having the possibility to test on a real asset means that PETROBOT can be well prepared for the tests in “the field” that will take place during the the third quarter of 2015.
Above is a picture of the inspection system mounted on the SNAKE tool wrist. In the centre is a high resolution camera and the extended light arms are enabling defect detection by different shadowing effects with raking light (light incident in an angle towards the surface and camera). All lights are individually controlled. The photo to the right shows the team monitoring the data received.
The above picture is a snapshot from the video camera of a weld inside the pressure vessel.
Above is a picture of a topographic view of surface irregularities in a weld. The topographic view is made by another tool implemented by DEKRA. It is the Gocator that enables measuring depths of pitting or as in this case irregularities in a weld. The colours indicates different “height” also visualised by the 3D view.
A substantial section of decommissioned pressure vessels arrived at OC Robotics in April 2015. The vessel is used to test robotic deployment methods for the internal inspection of pressure vessels. This asset represents a significant step forward for the PETROBOT programme and it will enable hands on system development and sensor integration.