BRI NorHull has entered into a contract with Aker BO for the development and delivery of robots.
The contract was signed on 30 January at Aker BP in Jåttåvågen by Lars Atle Andersen, VP for Technology and Digitalization in Aker BP and Morten K. Urrang, general manager of BRI NorHull.
Alvheim FPSO, which is operated by Aker BP, has been chosen as a pilot. BRI Norhull will develop two identical robots that will operate together on the vertical hull side of the production ship.
“The goal is for the two robots to complete surface maintenance of 60 square meters per day. By way of comparison, by traditional methods, which include a climbing team of three people,
we can only manage about three-square meters in one day. In addition to reducing the risk for personnel, we see an improved efficiency of around 85 per cent”, says Lars Atle Andersen of Aker BP.
The robot project is part of Aker BP's research and development program.
- “The challenge we received from Aker BP was very exciting. We saw that this really was an area where innovation could make big differences both in efficiency, quality and for the environment”, says Morten K Urrang.
The two robots will be able to carry out high-pressure washing and degreasing, ultra-high-pressure removal of old paint and sandblasting with sand-retrieval as well as applying new paint system under demanding conditions offshore.
The robot concept, which has been named "RoboCoat", is operated by workers on deck. A variety of sensors, cameras and instruments are installed to monitor the quality of the operation. The surface quality of the steel is measured in real time to optimize the work.
In addition, the system has an environmental profile where no emissions to the environment are permitted; All old paint containing microplastic, blasting medium and other waste is collected directly by the robots and treated in a cleaning system on deck.
BRI NorHull specializes in demanding offshore operations. Our company has previously developed a magnetic remote-controlled vehicle (M-ROV) and a robot for platform pipes. The company currently supplies services to the largest oil companies in Norway after having invested heavily in development for several years.
“The collaboration with Aker BP, and the development-focused milieu we have created together in the project, motivates us all the time to think outside the box. Getting the first job with this technology in the North Sea for the summer is a perfect exam. At the same time, we know that 95% of the production vessels lie off the Norwegian continental shelf. We hope, therefore, that this is also a technology we can later take out in the world market”, says Morten K. Urrang.
The RoboCoat project will be led from the company's engineering office in Haugesund while assembly and testing will be carried out at the Forus-based facilities.
“Cooperation with small businesses who dare to think new and innovative is incredibly important for Aker BP to gain leadership. For us, it is quite natural to focus on automating risk-exposed operations. This is just the start of something that will speed up in upcoming years and that will change the way we have traditionally worked”, emphasizes Lars Atle Andersen in Aker BP.