where expertise comes together - since 1996

Web's Largest Portal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT)
Open Access Database (Conference Proceedings, Articles, News), Exhibition, Forum, Network


NDT.net Issue - 2018-06 - NEWS

Climbing robot with ultrasonic imaging for mooring chains inspection passes field trials


TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute)172, Great Abington, Cambridge [United Kingdom]
NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2018-06
A robot designed to hook onto, and scale up and down, large mooring chains, both at sub-sea level and in the air – with a non-destructive testing (NDT), ultrasonic imaging system on board that scans for critical defects – has recently undergone successful field trials.

The ground-breaking, new climbing robot, named RIMCAW (Robotic Inspection of Mooring Chains in Air and Water), is the result of a year-long, fast-track project that secured funding from Innovate UK, the Government agency behind finding and driving the innovations that will grow the UK economy. It is being delivered by collaborative partners Computerised Information Technology Ltd, Innovative Technology and Science Ltd, London South Bank University and TWI Ltd.

[+]
Photographs show the RIMCAW robot being deployed for trial.

The inspection of large mooring chains, of the type most commonly used in the oil and gas industry, presents challenges due to the dynamic service conditions of both the underwater and atmospheric environments. RIMCAW, with its ability to autonomously move up and down a mooring chain, and handle the catenary curve, as directed from a top-side control system, is designed to uniquely address these and will start scanning for flaws as soon as it is deployed. It will identify issues such as fatigue cracking as it progresses, and record the scanned data for subsequent downloading and analysis once it has completed its inspection.

The field trials took place in the diving facility at TWI, Middlesbrough. The robot was tested for being neutrally buoyant, watertight and functional as anticipated, whilst simultaneously putting its sophisticated hardware through its paces. These successful simulated trials have proved that RIMCAW is fit-for-purpose, as well as commercially viable, thereby paving the way for further field trials in real-world operating conditions.

Channa Nageswaran, RIMCAW Project Leader and NDT Team Manager at TWI explained ‘Failure of mooring chain systems in offshore oil and gas structures represents a critical threat to the assets themselves, human life and to the environment. As a result, considerable effort goes into ensuring that the integrity of the chains is maintained to high standards, and a key part of this is increasing the precision and reliability of inspection methods.’

‘The RIMCAW robot will enable chains to be inspected in service for the first time and can be rapidly deployed on demand. In combination with its ability to scan each mooring chain link separately for critical defects, using the on-board NDT technology, it will offer significant benefits to industry. These include: provision of data on the emergence of critical fatigue cracking to inform traceability of mooring chain lifetime monitoring; diminished risk to the environment, improved health and safety for personnel; and potential cost savings as a result of the enhanced inspection procedures’ he said.

TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute)

More of TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute) published in NDT.net
2018-12-01: Quantitative inspection of wind turbine blades using UAV deployed photogrammetry
2018-12-01: Comparison of coded excitations in the presence of transducer’s transfer function in ultrasonic guided waves testing of pipelines
2018-12-01: iPerm: A guided wave pipeline monitoring tool for Oil & Gas industry
2018-10-01: NDT In Service Inspection Training and Certification Aspects
2018-09-01: TWI Joint Industry Project on early-stage detection of high temperature hydrogen attack in carbon steels opens to partners
2018-08-01: Comparison of different iterative reconstruction algorithms for X-ray volumetric inspection
2018-08-01: Methods for Improving the Accuracy of Automated NDE Systems
2018-08-01: Computational intelligence techniques for data analysis, the next step of innovation for advanced UT techniques in NDT
2018-08-01: Ultrasonic NDT technique for detection of creep damage in welded steel pipes
2018-08-01: Robotized Laser-Ultrasonic NDT system for large aircraft structures
All 174 Articles & News of TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute) in NDT.net


© NDT.net - The Web's Largest Portal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934

Open Access Database, |Conference Proceedings| |Articles| |News| |Exhibition| |Forum| |Professional Network|