This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A. Project Title
PIPELINE INSPECTION, DEFECTS MARKING AND PAINTING ROBOT
B. Brief description on project background
As Oil and Gas industries are of high importance to countries economic and social growth. Taking care of the transmission pipelines is the need of hour. We need to inspect the pipelines at regular bases and take preventive measure, to check if there is any defect in pipeline (corrosion, crack etc) and if it’s there, it should be notified to maintenance department (to repair the pipeline) before there is a huge loss to the company which has its material in the pipeline or a bigger issue arises (explosion due to leakage, environmental issues as BP oil spill, health problems in surrounding areas etc).
So here the developer comes in with the proposal of pipeline inspection, defects marking and painting robot (PIDMPR). It is an intelligent or smart machine which is going to tremendously reduce the work load on people inspecting and maintaining the pipeline. It is autonomously going to check the pipelines for the defects as cracks (leakages), welding defects (maybe) etc, then marking the area where defect is found with a bright paint (so that operates knows exactly the place of the defect to be repaired) plus stopping and raising an alarm for a period of time, and take preventive measures by painting the pipeline autonomously to prevent corrosion. Hence sparing the workers of monotonous, long duration, tiring and dangerous work. Plus saving, huge costs which company have to bear by providing wages to the workers, insurance, man hours lost in doing this kind of long duration work etc.
C. Brief description of project objectives
The aim of the project is to design, develop and test the working of PIDMPR as a preventive measure in oil and gas industry by inspecting the external of the pipeline and by painting it keeping it rust free. The other part is to reduce the work load on the people doing inspection and maintenance of the pipelines and reducing the cost of doing so.
The major objectives to be met by this project are as follow:
To develop a system to detect cracks (leakage) and corrosion (if possible in budget) in the pipeline and mark the defected area.
So for this purpose (problem) developer needs to develop a autonomous mobile robot which can transverse on the exterior of the pipeline while inspecting (Ultrasonic sensor and Image processing) it as it moves from one side to another and raise an alarm or notify the person controlling it that a defect has been found on the exterior of the pipeline and marking the area of defect so, that it can be found easily afterward for repair work.
To develop a mechanism to paint the pipeline autonomously as the robot transverse along it.
The problem developer is going to deal with is painting of the pipelines which can be of number of kilometers. Painting of pipeline is necessary to prevent corrosion plus for identification purposes (yellow – poisonous gases, silver – cold water, red – hot water etc) plus for marking of the detected defected area. Imagine a human beings painting kilometers of pipelines under scorching sun. It’s a very tiring and monotonous for anyone doing it plus sometimes pipes is located at a great height so, it gets even tougher to paint them from all the sides. The person would need to change his position again and again to paint the pipe properly. While the danger arises from the height, the other danger arises from the inhalation of the paint particles into the respiratory system of person painting the pipes. Handling of the paints can be other issue developer would need to deal with. So to overcome these problems developer decides to attach an autonomous painting mechanism to the mobile inspection robot. So as it transverses along the pipeline, the painting mechanism can paint the pipeline while the other part inspects the pipeline. Developer doesn’t want to use robotic arm here as it would be too heavy to put it on our mobile inspection robot plus the control mechanism (collision avoidance and trajectory) would be difficult to control. Instead developer has decided to construct a mechanism in which simple X-Y Cartesian robot would revolve around the pipeline,spraying paint continuously (at fast rate) until the inspection robot or the driving mechanism stops if crack is detected (just an idea). If this idea does not work out the developer would think of using the robotic arm for painting. Developer would keep robotic arm as backup option.
To develop a mechanism to allow maneuverability of the robot along the bends and curves of the pipeline.
Developer could face another problem which is maneuverability of the system over the bends or turns at various intervals in the pipeline. For that purpose developer would use some design of linkage for this mechanism or can use flexible material joining the two mechanisms as springs or poly carbonate steel etc.
To develop a mechanism to allow the robot to overcome the obstacles (beams and poles) and move along the pipeline (If time and budget allows, as this is a working model, can’t do all alone but would do it in design and animation)
The final problem which developer faces is regarding the obstacles at various intervals. As at regular intervals there are beams or poles supporting the pipelines, some mechanism is needed to be added to the existing mechanism (robot) so that it can overcome these obstacles (beams or poles) and move forward doing its work. For overcoming this problem the developer would develop gate mechanism in robot which would open when the beams or poles are detected and close once the robot have passed over them. For doing so developer would decide which mechanism to use, either it could be using proximity senor or human intervention (monitoring by camera) using remote control to open the gates and close them.
Limitations of this robot is that it can’t be deployed underwater as it isn’t waterproof plus the fluid dynamics and mechanics of the robot for underwater isn’t being worked upon right now (can be done in future). Then the other limitation of the robot is that it can be only used where pipelines aren’t buried and accessible from all the sides (mainly downstream industries or pipelines as Alaska pipeline where it is above the ground).
D. Brief description of the system/model/design that will be used in this proposal
The design of the robot to used is actually quite simple but the difficult part is the construction (real) of the design (mechanical) as would require welding, drilling, cutting, grinding etc. The electronics and communication part is simple but mechanical part can take some time.
The robot can be divided into 2 main mechanisms which are the painting mechanism and the inspection mechanism. The first mechanism to be built is the inspection mechanism which has a circular frame which
can go onto the exterior of the pipeline. For the movement (to transverse on pipeline) we are going to attach 4-5 wheels operated by motors on the circular frame plus we will but 2-3 ultrasonic sensors on the circular frame to detect the defects. We can or will use camera on this mechanism to detect defects on the pipeline using image processing and for monitoring of the work done by the robot.
The second mechanism to be built is the painting mechanism which too has circular frame with 4-5 wheels. The circular frame is to be engraved from a side right or left so as to create a slot into which our X-Y Cartesian mechanism can fit in upon motors having wheels fixed in tightly inside the slot. These X-Y Cartesian mechanisms would be having actuators to press the triggers hence causing paint to come out. The motors in the slot would be controlled by microcontroller or PLC, allowing them to rotate and causing the mechanism to revolve around the pipeline painting the spray.
Then for controlling the maneuverability of the mechanisms along the curves and bends in the pipelines we are going to develop linkage system (or some flexible material) between the 2 mechanisms so as they both can work together over the entire pipeline and can maneuver easily.
Then the last mechanism to develop is common for both paining and inspection mechanism. We are going to develop some sort of gates actuated by motor which open when some obstacle (beams or poles) come in way of the robot and close once the obstacle has been overcome. For doing so we are either going to use proximity sensors to detect when obstacles come and when robot has passed the obstacle or can use cameras (remote operation) to see when obstacles arrive and have been overcome and remotely the gates are opened and close (camera – remote user – RF etc).
For better grip of the robot on the pipeline developer would use magnets at various places or vacuum cups for stability.
After this the main thing to do is the control operation for which we need to sit down and make some kind of logic for the working of the robot and controlling it using PLCs, microcontrollers etc.
The inspection mechanism would always be ahead of the painting mechanism.
E. Academic research being carried out and other information, techniques being learnt
Nothing exactly similar to PIDMPR has ever been developed as per the research I did on the internet and library. But there have been some automated machines which are or can be linked to this proposed project.
There are spray painting robots which are wirelessly controlled, actually it’s the robotic arm which is wirelessly controlled (Wii remote) but there is provision of adding spray painting actuator, which can paint cars, machines etc being controlled wirelessly by an operator according to Wireless Teleoperation of Robotic Arms by Hannes Filippi (Master’s Thesis, 2007).
Then there are other fully and semi automatic spray painting robots which are used in car, pipes industries. One of them is redundant robot based painting system for variable cross-section S-shape pipe which can manoeuver in congested workspace and avoid collisions with the pipe wall. This system can automatically navigate and paint in the rectangular to circular transition pipe whose axis twists and turns slightly according to Department of Precision Instruments and Mechanology, Tsinghai University, Beijing, China, 2008.
Then there is a spray painting robot which autonomously paints unknown parts using range image data to obtain the geometry of an unknown part and to automatically generate the robot spray painting trajectories. It has laser strip range sensors attached to the front booth according to Method of Automatic Spray Painting of Unknown Parts by Kurt Haussler, 2002. Currently there are many technologies of spray painting robots which can be referred and researched upon for making a suitable autonomous painting system for PIPR.
Then there are numerous mobile inspection robots which have been developed to inspect internals of pipelines. It’s just that no one has created a robot to inspect the exterior of pipelines. All the literature review done by developer is regarding mobile robots used to do the internal inspection of pipelines. Here are some of the mobile inspection robots I came across.
At present, pipeline magnetic flux leakage detection vehicle is widely used to detect oil-gas pipeline, and this method is thought to be the most effective and ideal choice for majority cases. MFL inspection vehicle consists of sampling and recording unit, measuring unit, mileage wheel unit and battery unit. Its detection principle is that by magnetizing ferromagnetism pipeline wall, magnetic flux leakage can be produced in its defect or imperfection locations. Then by analyzing the axial vector of magnetic flux leakage obtained from the inspection vehicle, damage or corrosion degree of pipeline wall will be derived. It moves inside the pipeline by the pressure of the material inside it (flows) according to Detection and Estimation of Oil-Gas Pipeline Corrosion Defects by School of Control Science and Engineering, Shandong University.
Then there is robot which consists of two parts articulated with a universal joint. One part is guided along the pipe by a set of wheels moving parallel to the axis of the pipe, while the other part is forced to follow a helical motion thanks to tilted wheels rotating about the axis of the pipe. A single motor is placed between the two bodies to produce the motion. All the wheels are mounted on a suspension to accommodate for changing tube diameter and curves in the pipe. The robot is autonomous and carries its own batteries and
radio link according to A Simple Architecture for In-Pipe Inspection Robots by Mihaita Horodinca. This robot can move vertically and horizontally inside the pipeline due to friction with the internal walls of the pipeline.
Inspection robots have had such limitations as their mobility to turn in a T-shaped pipe or move in a plug valve. The new mechanism based on dual magnetic wheels, resembling a crawler, not only overcomes the limitation but enables the robot to climb over sharp obstacles like sleeve and dresser joints. Another drawback of earlier robots is that the friction between the pipe and the cables for communication and power supply makes it difficult to move a long distance. A fiber optic communication system can reduce the friction. The new vision system has been significantly miniaturized, enabling it to clearly view and inspect the welded section underneath the robot while gazing ahead for navigation according to Internal Pipe Inspection Robot by Y. Kawaguchi.
There is one robot which is quite similar to developers design but do only inspection. It has been developed by Rosen Inspection and is named as Robotic Pipeline Scanner. It scans the pipeline from the outside using the MFL technology according to www.roseninspection.net/RosenInternet/InspectionServices
For the academic research developer is searching the internet for various articles, journals, magazines etc related to the robot he is constructing. Along with that developer is reading various books in library on various topics for better understanding of the theories, fundamentals etc which can be used in constructing the robot. Also user is gathering data and information from what he learned at his internship period.
Developer is learning the techniques of welding, machining (lathe, milling, grinding), RF communication and Image processing. He is also learning PIC microcontroller, 8085 microprocessor, PLC, C language, and Lab View for now but, would be learning more as proceeds with the project with time.
Names of the books which have been read and will be read by the developer as per now are:
Engineering Mechanics : Statics and Dynamics by Irving H. Shames Introduction to Sensors for Ranging and Imaging by Graham Brooker. Permanent Magnet and Electromechanical Devices : Materials, Analysis, and Applications by Edward P. Furlani Engineering Computation with Mat lab by David M. Smith. Embedded Systems and Robots : Projects Using the 8051 microcontroller by Subrata Ghoshal Programmable Logic Controllers by W. Bolton Engineering Design and Graphics with Autodesk Inventor 2008 by James D. Bethune Modern Electronic Communication by Jeffrey S. Beasley
Electrical Machines, Drives, and Power Systems by Theodore Wildi Digital Systems : Principles and Applications by Ronald J. Tocci Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory by Robert L. Boylestad, Louis Nashelsky Electro Mechanics : Principles, Concepts, and Devices by James H. Harter Mechatronics by M. D. Singh, J. G. Joshi.
Names of the articles and journals which have been read and will be read by developer as per now are:
Designed and Implementation of a Semi-autonomous Search Robot by Yan Guo, Jiatong Baa and Aiguo Song School, 2009 Design of a gripper tool for robotic picking and placing by Karokh Mohammed, 2010 Oil and Gas Pipelines by Robert Goodland Feeder Pipe Inspection Robot with an Inch-Worm Mechanism Using Pneumatic Actuators by Changhwan Choi, Seungho Jung, and Seungho Kim, 2006 Motion Control for Mobile Robots by Konrad R. Skup, 2006 Position-Sensitive Devices and Sensor Systems for Optical Tracking and Displacement Sensing Applications by Anssi Makynen, 2000 Standing on Floor Type Tea Serving Welfare Robot Using Voice Instruction System by Yoshihiko Takahashi, Takashi Iizuka and Hidekazu Ninomiya Chaos in Wall Following Robots by Steve Meisburger and Alfred Hubler, 2006 An Overview of the Pipeline Defect Assessment Manual by Andrew Cosham and Phil Hopkins, 2004 Detection And Estimation of Oil-Gas Pipeline Corrosion Defects by Qi Jiang, Qingmei Sui, Nan Lu, Paschalis Zachariades and Jihong Wang New Generation of Ultrasonic In-Line Inspection Tools for Detecting, Sizing and Locating Metal Loss and Cracks in Transmission Pipelines by K. Reber, M. Beller, H. Willems, and O. A. Barbian, 2006
Painting Robot with Paint Supply System by Are Sandkleiva, 1999 Task Curve Planning for Painting Robots – Process Modeling and Calibration by Peter Hertling, Lars Hog, Rune Larsen, John W. Perram and Henry Gordon Petersen, 1996 A Simple Architecture for In-Pipe Inspection Robots by Mihaita Horodinca, Ioan Doroftei, Emmanuel Mignon and André Preumont Automated Ultrasonic Pipe Weld Inspection by Wolfram A. Karl Deutsch, Peter Schulte, Michael Joswig and Rainer Kattwinkel State of the art Natural Gas Pipe Inspection by Venugopal K. Varma, 2004
A Robust Approach for Automatic Detection and Segmentation of Cracks in Underground Pipeline Images by Shivprakash Iyer and Sunil K. Sinha A Conceptual Wheeled Robot For In-Pipe Inspection by Ioan Doroftei, Mihaita Horodinca and Emmanuel Mignon, 2006 Vision for Mobile Robot Navigation: A Survey by Guilherme N. DeSouza and Avinash C. Kak, 2002
F. Brief description of the materials/methodologies needed by the proposal
Investigation/Secondary Data Collection
First of all, data needs to be collected which means from articles, journals, books, magazines, any other literature and online source etc dealing or related with the developers project. Data from the sources may be gathered together and the most effective and important information might be written down or stored at a place and the useless data be discarded. After reading the information collected (refined), ideas about how to construct the prototype and its working can be thought off. Then questions can be asked to learned men about the topic of research and gain from what they have to say and try to improve your ideas according to that.
Developer needs to sit down and use all the creative and innovation skills he/she has and come up with ideas using various techniques taught to him/her. Then draw as many designs, till he/she reaches a point of saturation (nothing else can be improved upon) (usually 3-4 depending upon the knowledge developer has). While drawing the designs the developer should keep in mind the scale of the project to be made and the time allotted to him/her. The conceptual designs would help him/her reach the next stage of the designing process.
Once the conceptual designs are drawn, the developer may keep all the designs together on table and evaluate and analyze which design is best suited for the project he/she working upon. The cost and time constraints should always be kept in mind. After discussing with learned men he/she should finalize upon one design and go to the next stage of designing, which is converting the hand drawn design or sketch into CAD. Improvements can still be made in this particular stage if developer finds something which can improve his/her design. Various analyzing and evaluation procedures are present in CAD software’s (Autodesk Inventor) to know how steady and efficient the researcher’s design is.
Once developer has reached this stage he/she has to start collecting resources to go and start constructing the prototype. This part includes finding hardware’s as microcontroller, servo motors, body for construction, sensors, other actuators, cameras etc. The software’s needed to control and connect all the hardware’s as Mat Lab, Autodesk inventor; C compiler, MPLAB, Lab View etc (depends on design generated). Then the tools for designing the body as CNC, Lathe, hammer, chisel, screws, etc. Inputs from juniors, seniors and colleagues at work place to help you in prototype building and sharing their ideas. Lastly, searching for funds to support your prototype building.
Prototyping This is the last stage, where the developer’s project is created in real. All the theoretical and practical knowledge developer has comes into play. This is the toughest part of all, to actually make live working model of what developer has been thinking in his mind over the year.
Once the prototype is constructed is tested several times to check if any faults or errors exist in the system or not. Then if any error or fault still exists, it’s rectified before being demonstrated. Final Presentation & Demonstration
Once the prototype building is done. The developer makes a nicely documented report regarding his project which he/she did for a year and present it person in charge. Then demonstration of the prototype is shown to the in charge along with animation.
G. Brief description of the evaluation and analysis proposed for this project
Project design progress report Animation of the proposed design Prototype of the proposed design Final year report in hard and soft copy
H. Illustration of how this project will be a benefit the in future
Once the project is developed, the idea could be presented to the petrochemical industries (mainly) so, that if they like the concept they could sponsor the developer to make a full scale model using the best technologies for their industries.
This project will help the inspection department in petrochemical industries (mainly) to inspect long pipelines easily from outside without spending much, hence preventing any future damage from leaks, explosion etc.
Plus the project will help to paint long pipelines which otherwise is very tedious and tiring process and involves lot of man power. This project will help pipelines to be painted number of times a year if needed which otherwise is almost impossible as it will take a lot of time and cost.
Improvements can be done in this project so that it can be used for underwater inspection and painting purpose too in future. Right now the project is being developed for a particular diameter of pipelines but in future adjustments could be made to be used for any diameter of pipelines.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.