Groundbreaking pipe technology unveiled

Posted on 13 Dec 2019 and read 772 times
Groundbreaking pipe technology unveiledWorld-first pipeline technology that will revolutionise performance and safety in industries around the world was showcased at the British Manufacturing and Fabrication in the Offshore Energy Industry event, held in Aberdeen at the end of November.

The first-ever friction stir welding robotic crawler (FSWbot) for the internal repair and refurbishment of pipelines was highlighted by a consortium of British companies — led by Forth Engineering — that received funding from UK Innovate last year to develop a ‘proof of concept’ system.

Peter Routledge, project manager at Forth Engineering (, said: “We are getting a lot of inquiries about the FSWBot from around the globe.

“Interest is really building, including from America and Canada.”

The project seeks to integrate several ‘state of the art’ technologies — including friction stir welding, milling, patch deployment and ultrasonic NDT — with a robotic system that can be deployed to conduct repairs on pipelines without them being closed down.

It is envisaged that the system could be further developed to carry out a wider range of repair and fabrication tasks.

A presentation on the FSWBot will take place at the Offshore Pipeline Technology Conference in Amsterdam in February, and at a Friction Stir Welding International Symposium in Kyoto in May.

The development of the system is due to be completed by the end of January 2021.

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