Categoriearchief: News

Registrations Open: 2-day Inspection and Maintenance Robotics Seminar


We are pleased to invite you to the upcoming Inspection and Maintenance Robotics Seminar, which will be hosted by Shell, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 25 & 26 October 2016.

Join us as we celebrate the completion of the PETROBOT Project and showcase the newly developed robotic inspection solutions on day 1 of the event. Day 2 of the event will focus on the acceleration of the adoption of available and emerging technologies, as well as the release of the SPRINT Robotics Strategic Roadmap.

View Event Program

Attendance to this 2-day event is free of charge, but seats are limited. Interested parties are therefore required to submit a registration request; the outcome of the registration request will be communicated shortly afterwards.

The SPRINT Robotics Collaboration is also organizing a networking dinner for the evening of Tuesday, 25 October 2016. Tickets for the networking dinner are €100 per person.

Registrations closed



PETROBOT Snake-Arm Trials in Aberdeen

During the week of 29 February, 2016, trials for the Snake-arm robot were hosted by Chevron in Aberdeen. During these trials the HD camera, Structured White Light, UT and Eddy Current tools were tested inside a pressure vessel on a range of manmade defects.

Blind trials were carried out (I.E. the robot operator and NDE Inspector did not know beforehand where the defects were located) and the vessel defects were successfully mapped out and characterised using the NDT tools available. To the excitement of the team, some natural defects were also detected.

The results obtained will be compared with the ‘human vessel entry’ inspection report to understand the current defect detection capability of the Snake-arm inspection robot.

It was a busy week with a lot of vessel inspection time while at the same time also accommodating Chevron visitors, Senior Management and a video crew. All the parties involved are thanked for their contributions during this very successful week.



PETROBOT: Safety is a way of working

The PETROBOT project has reached the critical phase where all the robotic inspection solutions are being deployed for field testing.

Increased safety is the top objective of the PETROBOT project and ensuring the safety of the personnel during the field testing and project trials is essential. Consequently all members of the PETROBOT consortium that are part of the on-site field tests and trials underwent the necessary safety training at Shell’s Safety Centre Pernis. All the attendants completed the training successfully.




MEC Technique for Challenging Tank Floor Inspection

The MEC (Magnetic Eddy Current) technique applied by the PETROBOT robotic inspection solutions has demonstrated superior defect detection capability in two successful tests performed for a major petroleum and petrochemical operator.

The first analysis focused on the simulated inspection of a tank floor plate installed on top of an existing floor with varying distances in between. The ability of the MEC technique to inspect reliably the “New” plate on top of the “Old” plate with varying distances to each other (no gap, 3mm and 5mm gap underneath) as well as the reliability of defect detection on either side of the top layer plate was tested. The target was to analyse the influence of the “Old” bottom plate below the “New” bottom plate on the inspection results as well as the capability of the MEC technique to detect flaws in a distanced second steel layer.

Results showed that the defect indications and magnetic field in the top layer plate are not affected by the direct contact or increased gap distance of the bottom plate. Defects on the upper and underside of the top plate layer can be confidently detected and analysed without the influence from the defects in the bottom plate unless they are of significant size. This is possible because the MEC technique operates its magnetic field strength of at the retentivity point of the hysteresis curve which requires lesser field strength. This is a major difference to the MFL (Magnetic flux leakage) technique operating at the saturation level of the hysteresis curve where the close or in contact neighbouring plate layer will affect the field strength absorption.

The second analysis focused on the ability of the MEC technique to defect corrosion on the underside of the tank floor alongside the weld near to the tank shell.

Corrosion formed on the underside of the tank floor, extending alongside the double fillet weld at the area approximately 75mm from the shell, is a critical tank integrity issue experienced by operators, particularly for their storage tanks in Asia. As a result, operators requires an inspection technique that has a higher accuracy with targeted depth sizing of at least ±10% whilst the tank is out of operation and that also has the ability to penetrate the GRP (Glass-fibre Reinforced Polyester) lining and provide details of the defect profile.

Corrosional Attack

Corrosion defect on underside of tank floor next to tank shell

The TÜV certified MEC-F15 Floorscanner was used to perform the tests on the sample with a side wall mock-up as shell simulation. Despite the 10mm clearance due to the obliqueness of the shell, pitting defects such as 20mm diameter RBH (round bottom holes) underneath the shell were well detected. The same defect detection results were produced with the addition of a 4mm thick plastic layer mimicking the GRP lining.

F15 on wall                                        F15 on wall 2

The picture on the left shows the setup of the MEC-F15 Floorscanner near a side wall mock-up, while the picure on the right illustrates the 10mm clearance between scanner and shell due to obliqueness of side wall.



PETROBOT members on euRobotics Board

We are proud to announce that Mauricio Calva (Chevron), Andrew Graham (OC Robotics) and Prof. Stefano Stramigioli (PETROBOT Scientific Advisory Board) have been elected on the euRobotics Board at the 2015 euRobotics Forum in Vienna, Austria. Andrew Graham was appointed as the Treasurer of the Board and Stefano Stramigioli as the Vice President Research. PETROBOT would like to congratulate them and we wish them the best of luck with their newly obtained roles and responsibilities as euRobotics Board Members.



PETROBOT Website Updated!

The PETROBOT website has been updated with new content. An Applications section has been added which provides general information on the assets that are of concern to PETROBOT, namely pressure vessels and aboveground storage tanks. Sections on general robotic inspection and current robotic inspection technology are also included. The Participants section has been expanded by providing information on the PETROBOT consortium, the various work packages, the executive board and the scientific advisory board. Go and have a look!



PETROBOT’s 1st year EU Review

On November 19th, 2014, the first EU review of the PETROBOT project was held in Zurich, Switzerland at ASTOM Inspection Robotics.

The project was reviewed by a panel of experts from the oil and gas inspection and robotics industry. The team presented the work and results achieved during the first year of PETROBOT with each of the work packages presenting their work including the designs for the new robots, the NDT solutions being tested, technical specifications, and the work on regulations. The communication plan was delivered as well as an exciting video describing the PETROBOT project, which will be available soon on our website.

Building upon our 3 month technical review early this year, the reviewers were very happy and positive with our progress to date. We are looking forward to 2015.




PETROBOT Presents in Abu Dhabi

Members from the PETROBOT consortium visited the 2014 Shell Regional Operational Excellence (OE) Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  The key topic this year was ‘Role of OE in Asset Life Extension in Mature Assets’ with particular focus on Asset Life Extension and Long Term Sustainability.  As part of this conference, PETROBOT supported Shell in their technology update around the latest innovations of inspection technologies and robotics. Members from Alstom Inspection Robotics and Quasset attended the conference and demonstrated some of the technology from the PETROBOT Project. Interest for the project and the innovations being developed was high, and end users can see the value of this technology being used within their facilities in the future.

Want to know more about PETROBOT? Send us an Email in the contact us section.

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PETROBOT 1st Birthday

Dear PETROBOT team,

Happy 1st Birthday!

I am excited about the year that we have been together and what we all have achieved in such a short time. During the past year we have successfully defined our 4 robotic systems, their specifications and their requirements. As well as started our robotic and inspection technology development with great success. We have also made some bold decisions with PETROBOT’s direction and learnt lessons towards the development and operation of robotic inspection tools within our industry. In addition, we had a positive response from our 3rd month review with the EU, and we all worked hard to incorporate the feedback that was provided to us. I believe we deliver a great series of products that are significantly needed in our industry.


We have gelled as a team, and formed strong links between all of the people involved in PETROBOT. We are promoting PETROBOT through many different dissemination channels, with a new social media presence on LinkedIn (don’t forget to join), and an upcoming revamp of our website. We have also presented at several different international conferences and events to further promote PETROBOT into the industry; all with great success.

I would like to thank all of you for the hard work that you have given PETROBOT in the past year, in the various roles as GA or EB member, financial or contractual support staff, and a special thank you to the Executive Board and the daily support team for their ongoing support over the last year in managing this project. We couldn’t have had the successes that we have had during our 1st year without each and every member of the PETROBOT team.

I am extremely excited about our journey ahead.

Kind regards, and enjoy our 1st Birthday,

Sieger Terpstra

PETROBOT Coordinator