Robotic Drilling Systems

Revolutionary system for automating offshore oil exploration defies extreme conditions

Stavanger, Norway

Robotic system for automating the drilling processes on oil rigs

Readychain systems: Energy chains and chainflex cables

Meter-high waves, storms with high wind speeds, plus oil, mud and heavy rainfall: living and working on an oil platform is not only uncomfortable, it is also dangerous. Drill rods are driven up from the borehole and are disassembled and reassembled under high pressure by oil-smeared men. Lots of manual work under time pressure, in the dirt and with a high risk of injury. But that could all be over soon. The Norwegian company Robotic Drilling Systems has developed a robotic system for automating the drilling processes on the platform after many years of research and development work. Energy chains from igus ensure reliable energy supply under extreme conditions.

Energy and signal supply via rotation module and energy chain

The seventh axis of the ‘ Drillfloor Robot’ is a heavy-duty linear system on which the entire robot and its load move. This presented the designers with the challenge of designing the power and signal supply to be flexible enough – and that in extremely tight spaces. In addition, there are high explosion protection requirements in this area. The energy supply for the linear movement of the seventh axis was relatively easy to implement: Light plastic energy chains have proven themselves in numerous similar applications and enable cables for energy, data and media to be routed at the same time. On the other hand, the task of making the energy and signal supply on the axis of rotation of the robot foot move accordingly was trickier.

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