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.
UPDATE: The presentation slides from the project demonstration are now available and contain further information and photos from the LaserPipe project. The presentation slides can be downloaded here.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015