VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 5 CATEGORY: Science & Technology POSTED ON: 6/25/2010
The scenario shows how robotics technology could take a step further and move into oil and gas facilities to improve health, safety, and the environment (HSE) and increase productivity. The world's energy consumption is growing, and although alternative energy sources are currently expanding, there remains a high demand for oil and gas. Onshore robots will have to tolerate sand storms, direct sunlight, rain and humidity, extreme temperatures, and exposure to different poisonous gases such as H^sub 2^S. Such specifications are not usually required for reliable robot operations in conventional manufacturing process plants.
The robotized ﬁeld operator Trends suggest there will be new solutions to build on existing infrastructure and to develop new oil and gas ﬁelds T By Arne Ulrik he aim, in almost all industries, is to have Camera mounted on robots Bindingsbo, a high level of automation to increase pro- An orange robot moves around the process site, Charlotte Skourup, ductivity and efﬁciency. performs a combination of routine inspections, and John Pretlove Industrial robots, which have been one im- and replaces a safety valve. This robot works portant technology enabler in achieving this along side two others. aim, perform repetitive, heavy, dirty, and dan- A human operator located hundreds of miles For an extended version, go to www.isa.org/ @ gerous tasks. Within the oil and gas industry, robots have away in the process control center supervises all three. The human supervisor has deﬁned and intech/20091002. worked in very speciﬁc niche applications initiated the maintenance tasks in response to where the main driver has been safety, but this a condition-based monitoring report generated trend is now changing. by the automation system. With overall respon- Oil and gas companies have started to explore sibility for safety, the operator instructs the au- broader applications where robots may also tomation system to reschedule the subtasks. have a positive impact on productivity and ef- Using the 3-D camera mounted on one of the ﬁciency. One such application is the remote op- robots, the operator inspects the machinery eration of oil and gas ﬁelds, particularly those in and identiﬁes further components that require hazardous environments. removal and replacement. Although this scene is set sometime in the fu- ture, it is not far from reality. Some aspects of it are already happening in space and deep be- neath the oceans, where humans cannot easily perform tasks. The scenario shows how robotics technology could take a step further and move into oil and gas facilities to improve health, safety, and the environment (HSE) and increas
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