ABB’s submersible robots ‘halve cost of transformer maintenance’

The technology firm has used its submersible robotic technology to help silicon producer Simcoa Operations safely, quickly and efficiently inspect one of the two power transformers its manufacturing facility relies upon

ABB’s underwater robots have helped carry out maintenance on a power transformer at half the cost it would normally involve.

The job saw ABB use its submersible robotic technology to help Australian silicon producer Simcoa Operations safely, quickly and efficiently inspect one of the two power transformers its manufacturing facility relies upon.

After indications that something in one of the transformers was not working properly, Simcoa Operations originally planned to have personnel enter the confined space of the transformer – this would involve draining the oil, filling the unit with air and straining the other transformer as it would be forced to handle the additional power load.

This approach could take up to five days of nonstop work around the clock and presents a number of safety concerns.

ABB used its TXplore robots to swim through tight areas and record the transformer equipment using its onboard camera and LED lighting system, before sending the footage back to engineers.

As well as halving costs, this method saved four days of production downtime.

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