PETRONAS’ technology commercialisation arm, PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd (PTVSB) has entered into a partnership with Waygate Technologies Robotics AG (WTR), to commercialise a jointly developed robotic inspection device and scale its utilisation in the oil and gas industry.
Based on the BIKE robotic system, the device enables improved data management and inspection of confined or hard-to-reach spaces in oil and gas facilities - onshore and offshore. The enhanced technology includes a cleaning tool as well as additional ultrasonic and eddy current inspection capabilities.
A commercial agreement was signed recently on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2022 (OTC Asia 2022) by PTVSB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mahpuzah Abai and WTR CEO, Ekkehard Zwicker. It was witnessed by PETRONAS Senior Vice President of Project Delivery & Technology, Bacho Pilong together with Baker Hughes APAC Vice President, Graham Gillies.
Under the agreement, PETRONAS will deploy the updated BIKE robot in more facilities, while WTR will provide comprehensive training and support services. The agreement also marks the commitment by both companies to promote uptake of the device among its partners and customers.
Dr. Mahpuzah said, “PETRONAS is pleased to join forces with the Robotics team at WTR for their vast experience and patents in mobile robots and inspection technologies. Coupled with the vision and capability of our R&D team, we could create solutions that would benefit our inspection and maintenance operations, as well as streamline our asset management. We also look forward to offering these solutions to other companies in the future.”
WTR Executive General Manager of Visual & Robotic Inspection Solutions, Michael Domke said, “PETRONAS has been a valued customer of our nondestructive testing (NDT) solutions for years and we are thrilled to now also be able to help advance their remote inspection and cleaning procedures.
“Our R&D teams have been working closely together to tailor our robotic BIKE platform to their specific challenges. The result is a solution that will allow PETRONAS to minimise safety risks for their personnel as well as the overall downtime of their assets around the globe,” he added.
The companies are also co-developing two new versions of the tool, the BIKE I-Beam, designed to overcome specific obstacles and sharp edges in confined spaces, and a micro crawler version to facilitate inspection of smaller pipes.
For WTR, the agreement seals another milestone in its strategy to strengthen its automated data caption capabilities and drive innovations that will enhance its customers' productivity and competitiveness. Robotic inspection solutions are part of its mission as part of the energy technology ecosystem to make energy operations safer and more efficient for people and the planet.