TotalEnergies and Rockwell Automation introduce autonomous operations

Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest industrial automation and digital transformation company, is partnering with TotalEnergies to drive autonomous operations for offshore platforms using a robot fleet management system. The long-term collaboration is set to achieve a major milestone in mid-2023, with the rollout of its first offshore asset test.

TotalEnergies and Rockwell Automation team up for offshore robot fleet management

For a decade, TotalEnergies has been investing in robots and remote operation, in particular, autonomous robots certified to the ATEX explosive atmospheres standard. As a result, the company has established a strategic objective of minimizing employee exposure, increasing safety, and reducing capital expenditure.

The benefits of autonomous operations for the oil and gas sector

The challenge for the industry is to minimize employee exposure on these offshore platforms. By improving equipment design and expanding automation technology, the issue can be somewhat resolved. However, there are still oil operations that need to be performed manually. Many of these tasks necessitate observations by operators, and TotalEnergies is exploring robotic ground equipment to replace some of these manual tasks, eventually creating the facilities of the future.

The role of IoT technology in TotalEnergies’ Robotic Supervision System

To establish a Robotic Supervision System (RSS) with IoT technology and facilitate remote robot supervision and coordination in an onshore control room, TotalEnergies teamed up with Kalypso and other partners. Unity Technologies helped create the digital twin and mobile synchronized gaming platform, allowing the functionality of robots to be combined and for user-friendly HMI displays to be created.

The resultant Robot Supervision System will offer remote operators an immersive view from a central control room, which would let them control robots and complete the various activities that manual inspection and operations require on conventional facilities, from maintenance tasks to emergency responses, increasing efficiency and reducing operational risks.

The testing, which is set to take place in mid-2023, is critical to better understanding the operational aspects of using robots for inspection purposes, TotalEnergies R&D department Robotics System Architect Grégoire Audouin said. “There is enormous potential for innovation in our industry.”

As a result, TotalEnergies, with the help of Kalypso, is gearing up to create safer, more efficient, and more sustainable facilities for the future.

Rockwell Automation and TotalEnergies’ collaboration is expected to lead to significant advances in the use of robotics in the oil and gas industry. It is poised to make the implementation of autonomous operations feasible, thereby addressing the need for more efficient, safer and more sustainable practices.

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