The Oil and Gas industry will be a potential application for robotics in the near future.
LONDON, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The oil and gas industry is expected to see consistent growth over the next ten years owing to increasing demand for energy, especially in the manufacturing and transportation industries. However, the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry with regards to the work force, technology, and environmental safety are very much palpable in the present day. These challenges are fierce and evident in the off shore oil industry owing to more hostile environments. Hence, implementation of automation and robotics could be a step forward to reduce costs and ensure safety.
Companies need to evaluate the need for robotics and automation, which help maintain quality, increase efficiency and to remain competitive. Drilling has been moving towards harsher environments like the Artic, only to ascertain the need to replace human presence with robots. Robotics application for maintenance, inspection and repair will greatly result in improving safety and productivity in the production processes. Remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) and Deep Water Pipeline Repair Robotic Systems are a few products by companies providing solutions, especially for offshore oil- and natural gas–drilling operations. A few companies active in this industry are Oceaneering International, Inc., Robotic Drilling Systems, Honeybee Robotics and Liquid Robotics, Inc. among others.
Though it is evident that the robotics market has a huge potential in the oil and gas industry, there are concerns with regards to the applications. The robotics industry is faced with challenges from the oil and gas sector with the concerns over the hardware, software and communication requirements before a major deployment. The size, material and functionality of the robot are a priority. The robots must be equipped with a range of sensors for core functionality. Owing to the remote nature of offshore sites, communication with a central unit or human is primary.
The hardware and communication demands have been met by a number of companies working to deliver robots for the most rugged terrains, over the years. Nevertheless, another major restraint for the robotics industry in the oil and gas industry is the complexity in the software. The limitation of space and the need for complex manoeuvring has put great pressure on developing advanced software for these robots. Hence, the current generation of robots are software intensive, to be used in a multitude of applications. This also helps in keeping the cost down, as software changes can be made a robot function for more than one application.
The advancements in software also push towards a completely autonomous robotic system, hence reducing the costs associated with labour while increasing efficiency and safety.
There is little doubt that the oil and gas sector can gain significantly from the use of robotics to increase their efficiency in addition to reducing risk factors. With the rapid pace of software advancements and a plethora of use-case scenarios, the robotics market is expected to gain from the rising demand in the oil and gas sector in the next ten years.
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