LaserPipe project successfully delivered
LaserPipe is an Innovate UK funded R&D project looking into the feasibility of in-bore pipe welding using industrial high-powered lasers, coupled with snake-arm robotics for hazardous or confined space deployment.
Modern industrial sites require regular maintenance to replace or repair deteriorated pipes. A result of the challenging environment, confined space and limited external access is that external orbital cutting and welding processes are not viable for many applications and, consequently, in-bore remote processing has generated significant interest in recent years.
The LaserPipe project goal was to develop a compact in-bore laser welding system and investigate the procedures for an all positional laser welding process. The resulting laser welding head was integrated with a snake-arm robot, to demonstrate remote locating of weld joint, alignment of laser, and in-bore laser welding. This concept could also be suitable for in-bore laser cutting.
The project outcome was a successful demonstration to industry, conclusively proving the feasibility of in-bore laser welding using snake-arm technology for delivery and alignment.
For more information, please see the LaserPipe case study.