INSPECTION AND REPAIR OF NUCLEAR REACTORS

AARM - Robot for Operations in Nuclear Reactors

Use of robotics-based automation in the nuclear industry is a reliable and proven technology that has two distinct benefits. The first and most important benefit is that using robots and robotic tools for routine or extraordinary operations in a nuclear facility limits the exposure of personnel to radiation. 

The second benefit is the overall reduction in operating cost and increase in productivity and reliability that are associated with robotics in this industrial sector.

At the core of a CANDU nuclear reactor is the Calandria vessel. It contains a network of horizontal tubes for fueling the reactor.

After several decades of service these fueling tubes must be replaced in a process known as “re-tubing” of the reactor. It is of outmost importance that during this operation no debris or foreign matters remain inside the Calandria.

AARM - A robot arm and other custom systems supplied to be used to inspect the interior of nuclear reactor core.

AARM - A robot for such operations with the ability to pick up and remove any debris.

AARM - A robot inserted during a retrofit of a reactor through a lattice sleeve tube in the shielding wall of the reactor after the fueling and pressure tubes have been removed to perform inspection and repairs.                                                                  

                                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF GAS PIPES

CISBOTS - Robots for Internal Service of Gas Pipes

ESI provides custom-made robots for inspection and internal repair of 6" - 12" and 12" - 36" diameter cast iron natural gas mains.

CISBOTS - Robotic systems used to internally seal bell-and-spigot type joints by injecting liquid anaerobic sealant into the jute packing of the joint. Anaerobic injection is used to seal the joints. The internal joint sealing systems have proven to be an effective method of sealing of the joints.

CISBOTS - Robotic system uses anaerobic sealant injection for repairing leaking joints, or as a preventive measure. Plastic gasket formed inside the joint cavity by the cured sealant is a more effective and durable seal than the original lead seal.

 

KEYHOLE - Robots for External Service of Gas Pipes

KEYHOLE - Custom robotic tools for maintenance and repair of underground gas pipes by remote control.

KEYHOLE - Tools operated from above ground through a small opening in the ground (keyhole technology).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LABORATORY AUTOMATION

HTBP - High-throughput Bio-assay Processor

HTBP -  A turnkey robot system for bioassay sample preparation, handling and analysis for laboratory and industrial use.

HTBP - A robot system that takes a very small quantity of the sample from a container, puts it into a sample vial, adds reagents, caps and seals the vial, mixes it, and places it into a cassette for analysis. More than 500 samples per day can be processed.

 

HDR - High Density Colony Replicator

HDR - A robot-attachable  and dispensable, very high density bio-sample array replicator for colony picking.

 

 

AS - Auto-Sampler for Mass Spectrometer

AS - A robot and method for very low-loss automatic injection of samples into the mass spectrometer column.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSPECTION OF NUCLEAR REACTORS

LMR - Long Range Manipulator 

LMR - A robot arm used to inspect the structural integrity of supports in a critical area of a nuclear station. Access for the inspection is through a 10 inch (25 cm) opening.

LMR - A modular, long-reach, robotic arm used to perform the inspection. The objective is to non-destructively inspect the supports by scanning their surface. If a surface scan was insufficient, then the alternative, drilling into the support to remove a sample would be carried out.

LMR - A robot arm designed and installed in less than 7 weeks. 

 

 

 

 

 

FORESTRY OPERATIONS

TJ1 - Hydraulic Remote Manipulator

TJ1 - A robot arm used for tree trimming in the vicinity of live electrical distribution lines. A job proven to be dangerous for workers. In response to concerns of worker safety,

TJ1 - A remote master-slave hydraulic manipulator used for relocating workers away from hazardous tasks. An assortment of hydraulic tools can be attached to the slave to enable its use in a variety of high risk tasks.

TJ1 - A 6 degree-of-freedom hydraulic arm - the slave, and a 5 degree-of-freedom electric arm - the master. The master is instrumented to provide the operator with torque feedback with respect to two axes of rotation. This allows the operator to feel the contact forces and moments in and about certain directions. Such capability can be extended to a complete six degrees of freedom. The communication between master and slave is via fibre-optic cable.

 

 

 

 

MEAT GRADING

APGS - Automatic Pork Grading System

APGS - A robot system that replaces the human grader in the repetitive and tedious task of manual grading of pork carcasses. Currently, only grading of fat/lean thickness is performed. Automatic grading can be performed, as the carcass moves along the abattoir line, for fat/lean thickness, PSE (paleness, softness and exudativeness) characteristics, and marbling content of a fresh pork carcass.

APGS - A robot system that can perform the grading in several ways: (i) invasively, by the insertion of a grading probe, at a designated spot identified by ultrasound technology; (ii) non-invasively, using ultrasound and infrared technologies; or (iii) a combination of both. Manual fat/lean thickness is generally done using invasive grading. Non-invasive grading ensures consistency and that no cross contamination occurs between carcasses.

APGS - A robot system comprised of three sub-systems:

-     Robotic Subsystem carries the Sensing and Probing Subsystem which scans the pork carcass, as the carcass moves along the conveyor line, to locate the designated spot for probing (invasive or non-invasive) and perform grading.

-   Clamping Subsystem automatically clamps the pork carcass as it enters the grading station and presents the carcass at a constant position and orientation, during the grading operation.

-     Sensing and Probing Subsystem uses a dual echo ultrasonic technology to detect the probing site and perform the probing.

 

 

 

 

 

TIRE GRADING

ATCA - Automatic Tire Case Analyzer

ATCA - A robot system used for a nondestructive, simple way to inspect tires and tire casings for flaws. Good casings are presently being discarded, causing a detrimental effect on the environment. Furthermore, tires are often prepared for retreading only to discover that the casing has major irreparable flaws.

ATCA - A robot system that eliminate these problems resulting in significant economic benefits.

ATCA - A robot system that employs an intelligent controller based on two robotic systems that carry 28 ultrasonic sensors. The controller provides autonomous positioning and guidance of the sensors which are manoeuvered within a tested tire by a very compact foldable robot. The array of sensors conforms to the shape of the specific tire loaded. Based on the ultrasonic signal, the sensors detect the defects in the tire. An intelligent algorithm has been developed to evaluate the defects, classify them according to size, shape and severity. The defect is then graphically displayed on a computer screen to enable further inspection. Paint markers are applied to the tire at the location of the defect.

ATCA - A robot manipulator and sensory arrays specifically designed to handle a variety of small and large tires. A sensor protection mechanism prevents damage of delicate sensor arrays from nails that may have penetrated into the tire walls. Special material is used to achieve quality ultrasonic inspection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTRONICS BOARD ASSEMBLY

PG1 - Pneumatic Bellow-Based Gripper

PG1 - A robot compliant gripper end-effector to pick up and insert odd electronic components that are presented either misaligned or disoriented.

PG1 - A robot gripper that It consist of three modules:

-  End-Gripper opens to hold and close to release the work-piece using a pair of custom-made work-piece jaws that fit manually into the gripper

-  End-Cap opens to accommodate and close to affix the work-piece misalignment and disorientation

-  Air-Cushion Damper that is either active or passive to provide a damping effect

PG1 - Robot gripper operation sequence is as follows:

- Robot carrying the gripper approaches the work-piece

- End-Gripper and End-Cap are in open positions
- If the work-piece is misaligned and/or disoriented, the End-Cap adjusts itself to the work-piece
- End-Gripper closes to grasp the work-piece
- End-Cap closes to affix the work-piece in the gripper
- Robot moves to the desired position to perform the insertion