MHI Completes Development of 2nd Generation “EX ROVR” Explosion-Proof Plant Inspection Robot

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 4/11/2022, Location: Asia

? Jointly developed with ENEOS, robot will enable realization of safe, human-friendly plant environments
? Efficient inspections and effective data usage contribute to swift, safe resolution of incidents

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), working in collaboration with ENEOS Corporation(Note1), has completed development of a second-generation “EX ROVR,” a plant inspection robot with explosion-proof features(Note2), by utilizing remote maintenance technology for nuclear power plants. Realization of a practically viable model has been achieved after successful verification of the robot’s explosion-proof capability, incorporation of a manipulator, development of requisite software, and completion of demonstration testing of the first unit. The new robot will be launched into the market this month under the commercial name “ASCENT.”

The newly completed unit is slated to undergo running tests at an ENEOS site starting in fiscal 2022, to collect data pertaining to the robot’s long-term operation and its inspection performance. The collected inspection data will also be effectively used to develop an app capable of early detection of signs of abnormality, to further increase the robot’s product value.

The EX ROVR, by performing round-the-clock inspections under potentially explosive atmosphere conditions, makes positive contributions to enhancing worker safety, boosting work efficiency, and improving facility operating rates. The robot’s explosion-proof qualification has already been certified both domestically and globally by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)(Note3) and ATEX certification(Note4), explosion-proof standards widely adopted in Europe and other regions. These qualifications will enable the EX ROVR’s safe usage under Zone 1 combustible gas conditions(Note5).

The adoption of a 6-DOF(Note6) explosion-proof manipulator with light-equipped camera enables close-up and front-facing photography, from diverse positions, of complexly arranged plant instrumentation. Measurement of gas density, sound recording, and acquisition of thermal images are also possible. In addition, when used in combination with the online app provided as a standard feature, the operator can perform remote setting and management of inspection schedules and confirmation of inspection data. In the event of an incident occurring in the plant, remote monitoring enables swift identification of on-site conditions, thereby contributing to higher plant inspection efficiency and safe, swift resolution of the incident in question.

Going forward, through proposals of new solutions making use of the Company’s explosion-proof robot technologies, MHI will continue to contribute to ever higher safety and productivity in oil refineries and other plants having combustible gas environments.


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