The birth of a robot
Like other technologies, the development of robots does not stand still. They are also becoming more human, with, for example, wonderful applications in healthcare where robotic animals keep clients company. Some people have even fallen in love with chatbots! Our customers are not going that far, but they are certainly happy. Like with the ‘Predator’ that we developed in close cooperation with a customer.
End cap removal
To extend the comparison with people, a robot is also ‘conceived’ in a certain sense. In the case of the Predator, this started with a very rough and almost philosophical idea with the customer. They process countless individual pipes off-shore into one long pipeline that is then sunk onto the seabed. Before the pipes can be welded together in the so-called prep area on a ship, the end caps must be removed. At an earlier stage, after applying the coating in a factory, these caps are attached to protect the coating against moisture and dust.
In order to remove the caps more quickly and above all more safely, the customer came to us for an automated solution. Together we quickly came up with a concept of a robotic arm with a sort of claw attached to it to grip the caps and remove them. According to good custom in our industry, this earned the robot a fitting nickname, the Predator. Using multiple sensors, the Predator searches for the pipe and detects whether or not there is a cap on it, after which the cap is removed and set aside.
From the same position, some twenty seconds later, the robot picks up a brushing machine that cleans the rotating pipe on the outside. Subsequently the next tube is brought into position and both actions are repeated over and over again. At this moment, the Predator is being extensively tested and will soon be put into operation, to the great satisfaction of the customer and us as ‘proud father’.
Do you also see opportunities in your production company to improve safety and reduce operating costs with the help of robots? Just call your sales contact or send an email to info@selmersSSP.com.