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TWI to present at Transformative Robotics conference in 2020

Thu, 19 December, 2019

The 4th Annual Conference from the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEE UK) and the Ireland Robotics and Automation (RAS) Chapter is set to take place on 22 January, 2020 in Manchester, UK.  ‘Transformative Robotics for Industries’ will bring together industrial professionals, members, researchers and students for a day of collaboration, knowledge transformation, knowledge sharing and more.

TWI’s Darren Williams and Peter Wilson are delighted to have been invited to speak at the one day conference and will give a presentation on the FSWBot project: ‘Friction stir welding crawler for internal repair and refurbishment of pipelines’, an Innovate UK funded project being delivered by consortium partners Forth Engineering, Innvotek, London South Bank University, TWI and the Joining 4.0 Innovation centre (J4IC – a strategic partnership between Lancaster University and TWI).

Darren, who is Welding Systems Team Manager at TWI, specialising in digital manufacturing and automation, explained “With FSWBot, we are aiming to create a robotic system, integrating several technologies including friction stir welding (FSW), ultrasonic non-destructive testing (NDT), milling and patch deployment, that can be deployed to conduct repairs on subsea pipelines while they are still in service.  Once the prototype FSW system is ready for testing, the project partners will seek to demonstrate that a patch weld can be carried out in-situ, for example to rectify a corrosion induced defect, on a 36 inch (91cm) diameter, steel export pipe under oil.”

Peter, who joined TWI from Rolls Royce approximately one year ago and is an expert in linear friction welding and use of machine learning for data analytics, described the project’s ambitions further, saying “The plan is for the FSWBot to be able to enter a pipe segment containing defects; correctly position itself to perform the repair on the first defect; cut away the corroded area and prepare a pocket in the pipe wall into which a steel patch can be placed; weld the patch into place; and use the milling tool to ensure the weld is flush with the pipe wall.  The machine will then use NDT to inspect the weld, after which it will unclamp and move downstream to repeat the process on any further defects.”

Darren and Peter are part of a packed conference programme which also includes presentations on topics such as soft aerial robotics; precise, agile and intelligent surgical robots; and AI robotics for sustainable space exploration and exploitation.  Registration for the Transformative Robotics for Industries conference is through EventBrite

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