Pipeline systems deteriorate progressively over time. Corrosion accelerates progressively and long term deterioration increases the probability of failure (fatigue cracking). Limiting regular inspecting activities to the „scrapable“ part of the pipelines only, results ultimately into a pipeline system with questionable integrity. The confidence level in integrity will drop below acceptance levels. Inspection of presently un-inspectable sections of the pipeline system becomes a must. This paper provides information on ROSEN‘s progress on the „robotic inspection technology“ project.
The ROSEN robotic inspection concept is based on a modular toolbox principle. A variety of modules are available to be applied as needed. The tool box principle is proven to be more reliable and efficient for resolving specific inspection tasks then an universal „all purpose“ robot. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) analysis has enhanced the choice for an efficiency technology for the robotic solution.
The word „robotic“ means autonomous control and interaction of the features: Recognition - Strategy - Motion - Decision Ability - Memorize and Control. Application of the latest micro-electronics enables interactive application of the different individual systems with established communication systems, e.g. utilizing Bluetooth technology. ROSEN paid particular attention to the robustness of such autonomously operating units to fulfill the demanding reliability requirement. The QFD analysis concentrated both on appropriate strategies for navigation and inspection.
The initial goal is to offer a tool box type service that can be configured for any specific inspection requirement and just may be ultimately carry out maintenance tasks.