RPS are consultants for Robotics project for GB Gas Network
18 June 2014
RPS has been appointed by Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) to act as consultants on its largest innovation project to date. The Robotics project was approved by regulator Ofgem as part of the National Gas Network Innovation Competition. The project that will see RPS partner with SGN and ULC Pipeline Robotics, a US firm that provides research and development on robotic solutions.
The objective of the project is to develop new robotic technologies that can operate inside live gas distribution mains. This new technology will be capable of internally finding and sealing joints along with the ability to collect data using sensors for pipe risk analysis.
“This represents a significant breakthrough into the UK gas industry and will have very tangible benefits for all utilities in cost and resource efficiency terms,” said PJ Rudden, group director for UK Infrastructure.
This project commenced in March 2014 with the project timeline lasting four years potentially. It is divided into four key elements:
- Element 1 – Development of a robotic ‘platform’ and launch system to allow the robot to carry out repair and inspection of large distribution pipe;
- Element 2 – Development of a repair module for repairing mechanical and rubber seals of large distribution pipes;
- Element 3 – Robotic visual and non-visual inspection;
- Element 4 – Automated live asset replacement for smaller distribution pipes.
RPS will provide technical assessments at key milestones in the development of robotic solutions, assessing and carrying out technical reports supporting the development of operational procedures in support of deployment, the analysis and reporting of field trial data throughout deployment.
The project not only has significant importance to SGN but also to other gas utilities in the UK in terms of:
- Substantial savings in public disruption on roadways and costs of pavement excavation and reinstatement;
- Improved risk management of metallic mains from more accurate and convenient pin pointing of leakage from joints on metallic gas mains;
- Reduction in gas leakage and resulting repair costs, leading to a reduction in SGN’s operating costs including road congestion charging in South London;
- A lower carbon intensive solution for leakage repairs;
- Further proof of positive innovation to give value for money in the UK gas industry.
SGN is responsible for the gas distribution system in Scotland and Southern England, and south of the River Thames including Berkshire and Oxfordshire.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2014/06/18/rps-are-consultants-for-robotics-project-for-gb-gas-network/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/fas-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/fas-300x300.jpgNewsgas,robots,RPS Group