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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Onwards and downwards...
Onwards and downwards...
Keywords: Motors, Miniatures, Subsea, Welding
maxon motor contributes to latest advance in subsea welding technology.
The latest pioneering development to make use of maxon's exceptional drive systems is the “Hot Tap Welding” robot (Plate 1). This ingenious device has been created to add new branches to existing undersea oil pipelines. In doing so, it will save both the expense of entirely replacing networks and the related environmental cost of discarding disused pipes at sea.
Plate 1 Hot Tap Welding – for the extension of undersea oil pipelines – has found another pioneering use for maxon motors
Hot Tap Welding is being developed by Isotek Electronics Ltd, whose engineering team designs and builds innovative industrial control systems and specialised machinery. Its current project is being carried out in conjunction with Statoil and Subsea 7 for use in the North Sea.
To supplement a pipeline network using the new system, a “T” joint is first brought into contact with the “mother pipe” on the sea bed. The Hot Tap Welding equipment is docked onto this. Sea water is expelled by pressurising the joint's cavity with argon gas – which provides an ideal medium for welding.
A secure metal-to-metal internal seal is then welded around the “saddle” formed at the junction between the “T” joint and the curved surface of the mother pipe. When the robot is withdrawn, a valve on top of the joint closes to exclude water. The connection is completed by another machine which cuts a hole between the pipe and the joint so that oil can flow. Finally, a new pipe section is mated to the valve.
maxon's contribution has taken the form of two DC motors – one fitted with encoder feedback – and two matching planetary gearheads.
The first motor, a 22 mm A-max, working in conjunction with a sophisticated maxon MR encoder, is controlled remotely to produce the precise “weaving” movements necessary for effective welding.
Whenever the welding torch is activated, a 10 mm RE motor moves polarising lenses into place to enable viewing of the welding arc.
For further information on maxon's products and services, contact: maxon motor uk ltd, Maxon House, Hogwood Lane, Finchampstead, Berks, RG40 4QW. Tel: 01189 733337; Fax: 01189 737472; E-mail: email@example.com. Web site: www.&maxonmotor.co.uk