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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Technology paves a pathway to the OGTC at SPE Offshore Europe 2019

05 September 2019 4 minute read

The latest in robotic technology and automation showcased at OE19

An opportunity to see pioneering software, automation and robotics in action

From digital twins of offshore assets through to pioneering autonomous robotics – these are just some of the technologies being showcased by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OCTC) today (Thursday 5th September), at SPE Offshore Europe 2019.

As Thursday’s conference focuses on transformational technology and automation, the OGTC is featuring just a small selection of its 200 co-funded projects – including cutting-edge digital twin and inspection systems set to transform offshore inspection and maintenance.

GDi has applied the latest in laser scanning technology to develop a 3D, 360° model of an offshore asset.  Real-time updates allow engineers to enter, view, manipulate and manage all asset integrity information, without the need to generate reports.  In a second phase of the project, the company is developing a revolutionary inspection technology that delivers fast, accurate inspection data, automatically detecting and categorising defects and generating virtual inspection reports. 

Commenting on the project, Gareth McIntyre, Director at GDi, said:

“We’re at an exciting point in the development of our system, which has the potential to transform offshore maintenance and inspection.  By creating a digital twin we can visualise the overall health of an asset, making critical decisions on inspection, repair and maintenance work.  This technology has the potential to save up to £1 million per asset, per year, driving down cost and improving overall integrity.”

The latest advancements in robotics are also being highlighted by the OGTC, including QL Tech’s system that combines with artificial intelligence (AI) software to enable an autonomous robot capable of blasting and coating offshore structures.  Their robotic solution is being designed to fit seamlessly within the fabric maintenance workflow driving efficiencies and reducing cost per square meter.

Ben Bamford, CEO at QL Tech, added:

“Our AI enabled maintenance robot is currently undergoing workshop testing and has demonstrated the step change in quality and cost that intelligent robotics can deliver within our industry. We are delighted to be part of the intelligent robotics revolution that will enable asset owners to do more for less. We’re excited to be working in partnership with the OGTC and look forward to showcasing our latest system at Offshore Europe and subsequently with our partners through a series of field trials.”

Finally, technology developer Taurob, in partnership with operator, Total E&P, is playing a leading role on stand today, as the OGRIP (Offshore Ground Robotics Industrial Pilot) robot navigates the walkways of hall three and on to the OGTC’s stand for a demonstration.  Fresh from its recent onshore field trial, the OGRIP robot will demonstrates just some of its capabilities, which include the ability to perform visual inspections, read dials, gauges and valve positions, while also measuring temperature and gas concentrations.

Matthias Biegl, Managing Director for Taurob, said:

“These robots could soon be working autonomously in the North Sea, navigating up and down stairs, to undertake a broad cross section of inspection activities.  As the industry moves towards more normally unmanned installations (NUIs), robotics will become even more important and we’re excited to be part of this technology evolution.” 

A range of technology developers are on stand across the week, alongside entrepreneurs from the Start-Up Village (Powered by TechX), demonstrating the breadth of innovation under way in partnership with the OGTC, industry and academia.

Rebecca Allison, Asset Integrity Solution Centre Manager, concluded:

“Over the past decade we have seen boundaries smashed on the field of robotics and AI.  While companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Ocado are pioneering these fields, we are now starting to see these advancements transition into the oil and gas industry. 

“At the same time, we are seeing some pioneering developments in digital twin technology, which allows us to transform asset integrity and maintenance.  We’re thrilled to be working with a cross section of talented companies who are making these ideas a reality and welcome everyone to join us on stand for a range of exciting demonstrations.”

The OGRIP robot will walk through hall three at 12:15pm on Thursday 5th September and on to the OGTC stand 3B70.  For a full schedule of events:   

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