Woodside’s collaboration with industry pushes frontier for robotics

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Representatives from Monadelphous, Fugro, Woodside and Nexxis. Source Supplied.

Australian global energy company Woodside Energy has collaborated with industry professionals to create an offshore caisson cleaning and inspection tool (CCAIT) to allow for safe and cost-saving remote inspection of critical equipment on its offshore platforms.

The CCAIT system incorporates a human-seized robots, manufactured to inspect carbon steel pipes of up to 70 metres long and up to 1.2 metres wide, caissons are used on offshore platforms to house equipment such as firewater and seawater lift pumps.

The system was designed and deployed in less than 12 months through a collaboration led by Woodside and including Perth-based expertise from Nexxis, Monadelphous, WOMA and Furgo.

Chance for graduates to showcase skills

The system stems from a sought solution to combat the possible COVID-related supply chain risks and is hence controlled from a safe location on an offshore platform by skilled technicians.

The tool is lowered inside the caisson through a tether and winch arrangement, wheels are then extended to centralise the tool in the caisson, along with probe arms to enable ultrasound inspection.

High-definition cameras then stream video footage back to technicians, who define a forward plan based on the data received.

Woodside executive vice-president of technical services Daniel Kalms said the CCAIT system not only cut down on costs but provided graduates the platform to effectively showcase their skills in the industry.

“The CCAIT system removes the costs of mobilising tools from international locations, including the cost of delay in fractured supply chains, these can represent up to 50% of the total cost of an inspection campaign,” he said.

“It was incredible to see the team, including Woodside graduate robotics engineers, write software to dramatically improve the performance and usability of the tool.

The project team was made up of people from local companies who came together and designed, procured, fabricated, tested, and validated a robotic solution during the height of a pandemic in under a year.

Daniel Kalms, Woodside

Nexxis Technology chief executive officer Jason de Silveira added Woodside’s decision to partner with a local company shows the strong sovereign capability of Australia’s manufacturing sector to manufacture and deploy robotic technology.

Nexxis founder Jason De Silveria. Image: Nexxis.
Nexxis CEO Jason de Silveira. Source Supplied.

“This collaboration highlights local capability and supports small to medium enterprises, creating jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector and pushing the frontier of robotics globally.”

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