ExRobotics and Yokogawa Accelerate Adoption for Inspection of Hazardous Environments
ExRobotics B.V., a Netherlands-based developer of robotics technology for hazardous environments, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841), a global provider of industrial automation, control, and measurement technology, announce the signing of a licensing agreement that will enable Yokogawa to sell and deploy ExRobotics' inspection robot hardware and software platforms worldwide.
ExRobotics was established in 2017 to commercialise robotics technology for use in the potentially explosive atmospheres found at oil and gas production and processing facilities, which are often in remote locations with harsh environments. Even on normally unmanned facilities, a human presence is generally still needed for regular inspection work, so deploying robots can have a significant positive impact on worker safety by minimising worker field trips, which in turn reduces operating costs.
Equipment operating in these hazardous environments must have IECEx*1 Zone 1 certification, and the ExRobotics ExR-1 was the first commercially available robot of its kind to meet the stringent requirements. It can be equipped with a range of sensors and cameras, has 4G LTE wireless network capabilities, and can be monitored and operated from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone by an operator located in a safe control room anywhere in the world. The robot is certified at a module level, which allows for customised configurations. It also has optional modules for gas detection and autonomous navigation.
Under the agreement, Yokogawa will leverage its customer base and global sales and service network to introduce the ExR-1 and future ExRobotics products to offshore and onshore oil and gas production facilities where inspections by humans should be minimised, as well as large refineries and chemical plants.
Ian Peerless, operations director at ExRobotics, commented that, "Together with Yokogawa we are able to speed up the implementation of this new technology and create a safer working environment for operators whilst improving our customers' financial performance."
Hiroshi Tanoguchi, head of the Lifecycle Service Business Division at Yokogawa, added, "We see huge demand from customers for service solutions that can address the safety, environmental, and economic issues they are facing in the field. The technology approach of ExRobotics, a co-member of the SPRINT Robotics Collaborative*2, meshes perfectly with Yokogawa's vision for a robotics services platform. We look forward to building on this initial agreement to explore opportunities for collaboration on advanced solutions in the future."
*1 International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx System)
*2 An industry-driven initiative launched in 2015 to promote the development, availability, and application of robotics techniques in technical inspections and maintenance of capital-intensive infrastructure
About ExRobotics B.V.
ExRobotics is a leading international company specialised in robotic solutions for potentially explosive environments. It produces Ex-certified robots (ATEX and IECEx Zone 1) that can remotely carry out otherwise potentially hazardous safety checks at remote facilities. ExRobotics B.V. was established in May 2017 by ImProvia B.V. and Peerless Robotics Limited as a vehicle to commercialise the knowledge gained from the Sensabot program that was led by Shell and sponsored by the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC). www.exrobotics.global
Founded in 1915, Yokogawa engages in broad-ranging activities in the areas of measurement, control, and information. The industrial automation business provides vital products, services, and solutions to a diverse range of process industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, and pulp and paper. With the life innovation business, the company aims to radically improve productivity across the pharmaceutical and food industry value chains. The test & measurement, aviation, and other businesses continue to provide essential instruments and equipment with industry-leading precision and reliability. Yokogawa co-innovates with its customers through a global network of 113 companies spanning 60 countries, generating US$3.6 billion in sales in FY2018.
For more information, please visit www.yokogawa.com.