Implementation & Operationalization of Robotic Welding in MFF-Hazira

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Project Handled:

Equipment POC for KSA & Piping POC for KSA with Robotic Welding Station (GMAW) And Structural POC for MFF-Hazira. Connection Details of NWIS-R  and CRPO-37 Projects.

Background 

For Offshore Process & Wellhead Platforms for Oil and Gas & Pressure Vessel Fabrication, increased Automation is the need of the hour, as it helps improve Productivity, reduces Skill dependency on Welders, and improves Product Quality. Proactive planning & implementation of correct Welding process automation for defined Weld Joints, speeds up weld deposition with good weld aesthetics with improved quality of weld. L&T-Modular Fabrication Facility Hazira uses Robotic Welding for Different Types Connection Details, Nodal Joints, Weld Sector tubular joints, Weld Mitre Joints in Jacket. As conventional SMAW is replaced, significant weld metal deposition in shortest possible time with stringent dimensional tolerances are achieved, without any rework & delay in acceptance. Proper sequencing, effective & repetitive implementation and optimized Welding parameters leads to desired bead size and finish, reduces Overall cycle time, cost & man days. 

With Today’s energy-centric life, need for oil is at all-time high. With this surge in energy demand, the oil and gas industry is being challenged to improve production efficiencies and to maintain a growth trajectory in its crude oil and natural gas resources. The Design, Manufacturing and Installation of these structures is the biggest challenge and requires remarkable team efforts. LTHE MFF is one of the leading players in South East Asia for manufacturing of offshore modules. Welding is one of the Core manufacturing process in Fabrication of oil & Gas Offshore modules. Welding variables are tactically maneuvered to Increase process efficiency, optimizing cycle time and thereby reducing overall cost without compromising final product quality. It is critical to look for ways and means which will help improve overall product quality & productivity, reduce cycle time & cut down an overall cost. On an approximate scale, deposited weld metal contributes 2.5-3.0% of total weight of offshore module. Selecting right automation process, effective monitoring & controlling can help increasing productivity, reduce cycle time & cut down an overall cost. Further with keeping in par with recent global development in welding automation, Six Axis welding robotic system installed and trials were conducted. 

Robotic Welding Systems perform a set of operations in a controlled manner where variables are maintained at present levels regardless of changing weld quality. The welding system automatically starts and completes the weld, stepping from one variable setting to the next at either a predetermined time or location along a weld joint. Heat input maintained within limits to minimize heat-affected zone and distortions.

Need for Robotic Welding:

Productivity: A Robotic welding system will drastically outperform manual welders, greater productivity (7-10 Times Faster Than Manual).

Quality: The consistent & repetitive weld quality by a Robotic welding system with proper programming will give superior weld quality. 

Consistency: Once a weld program is established a Robotic Welding system can repeatedly perform on all sub-assemblies, eliminating normal variability, inconsistencies, errors and defects of manual welding. 

Skill level: As Certified manual welders are increasingly hard to find with increase in workload, it take care & help resolve dependency on manual welders by using trained operator.

Robotic Welding (6 axis set Up)

  • Type: KUKA Robot 

Designed with 16 kg payload to optimize dynamic performance and with an arm reach of up to 2 meter.

  • Positioners with Payload: 2.5 MT with 4 Axis Rotation
  • Cell Flow

User imports job CAD in OLP software which then generates the robot program on PC. This is transferred to robot via line PLC.

Operator loads the job on positioner and welds as per program transferred from OLP. Using 2 positioners for simultaneous operations. As when welding is performed on one positioner, job is setup on another simultaneously.

  • Technologies Implemented

o Arc tech for power source communication

o Touch sense: For position correction 

o Arc Sense: Position correction during welding

o Offline program generation (OLP)

o User tech for customized commands

Once the programmer has defined all seams within job can move onto next programming task, which relates to planning the motions required for the robotic cell to correctly carry out welds. In welding rapid manufacturing technology, path planning is equally important.

Robotic welding system was deployed for welding nodal connection details for framing and Lifting Pad eyes assemblies, which accounts for 60% and 10% of the total weld metal respectively

Trails conducted for Dish End assemblies i.e. Crown to Petal, Nozzle to D’end and Shell assemblies i.e. Nozzle to shell, Trunnion to shell, which accounts for 9% and 17% weld metal respectively, rest weld metal goes in Long & circ. Seam.

To remain in business and achieve sustainability, it is inevitable for any company today to remain alert and keep upgrading on technologies and human resource. In the continuous endeavor to set benchmark, MFF-H has tried to upgrade itself on technology front by adopting better Welding Processes, better documentation system, standardizing Good practices, etc. With the same we have been able to remain live in market and present very tough competition to our global counterparts.

Innovation 

  • OLP- Off Line Programmed
  • Touch Sense and Arc Sense
  • All Complex details weld in 1G position.
  • Back Side Welding without Gouging.
  • Inventive, easily adaptable & feasible modules 

Benefits 

  • More Consistent
  • Higher Quality Weld
  • Greater Productivity (5-7 Times Faster Than manual)
  • Reduce or Less Rework
  • Drastically Reduced Post Weld Visual Cleanup
  • Reduce Back Chipping Activities
  • Institutionalized Modules for next future project 
  • Reduction in total time to market.

Stretch 

  • Planned Proactively the Process Automation
  • Communicated the entire sequential plan to identified Team
  • Deep and essence feasibility study carried out for development & implementation.
  •  Lots of complication were also faced during implementation phase, 
  • Dedicated Coverage Provided for Implementation