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Video: Robust Energy Chains For Robots On Oil Drilling Platforms
Meter-high waves, storms with high wind speeds, plus oil, mud, heavy rainfall: living and working on an oil platform is not only uncomfortable - it is also dangerous. A lot of manual work under time pressure, in the dirt and with high risk of injury.
It could all be over soon. The Norwegian company RDS Robotic Drilling Systems, based in Stavanger - a center of the European oil industry - has spent many years doing research and development work to develop a robot system for the automation of drilling operations on oil platforms.
Working in difficult conditions
An ambitious job: The robotics systems work under difficult conditions and have to be insensitive to salt water, corrosion, mechanical stress and sometimes extreme temperatures; Due to the complex work processes involved in handling the drill pipe, up to 100 axes need to be coordinated. And finally, energy, media and signals must be reliably guided to the robots' grippers.
RDS has developed an entire robot family for these requirements: The central "drill floor" heavy-duty robot with six axes and a load capacity of 1500 kg on the extended, three-meter-long robot arm and a newly developed gripper connects the elements of the "stands" (the drill pipe) and controls the drilling process. The fully automated "pipe handler" takes the segments from a "finger board" (storage system) or a conveyor unit on deck and feeds them to the robot. As another RDS robot system, the "Electric Roughneck" and a pipe handling robot support the central heavy-duty robot when handling and screwing the stands together. All systems work together to ensure that the entire drilling process takes place without human intervention.According to the manufacturer, such a system works up to 40 percent faster and saves between 10 and 20 million US dollars a year.
Movable feeders required
The seventh axis of the Drillfloor Robot is a heavy-duty linear system on which the robot travels along with the load. This gave rise to the challenge of designing the energy and signal supply to be flexible - in extremely tight spaces and with high requirements for explosion protection.
Picture gallery with 10 pictures
For the linear movement of the seventh axis, the energy supply was relatively easy to implement: Light energy chains made of plastic have proven themselves in similar applications, cables for energy, data and media can be routed simultaneously.
The task of displaying the energy and signal supply on the axis of rotation of the robot foot was tricky. This task is solved with an Igus rotary module. It is an energy chain that is used lying on its side and works with a rear bending radius (RBR). In this case, the chain links are moved in both directions, in contrast to the usual linear travel paths. The cables and hoses are securely guided in the chain with snap-in dividers and the chain is inserted in a round guide trough.
Content of the article:
- Page 1: Robust energy chains for robots on oil drilling platforms
- Page 2: Long durability guaranteed
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