The Automated Technology Making the Oil & Gas Industry Safer

By Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Robotics and other automated technologies designed for the oil & gas sector can drive efficiencies in surveillance and maintenance. However, the technologies are increasingly displaying an added benefit of keeping their human counterparts out of harm’s way.

More and more, the oil and gas industry is leveraging automation and robotics to streamline and improve routine processes. But more significantly, these technologies have the potential to provide safer alternatives to dealing with a range of hazardous situations.

Beyond economic applications of automation that can help mitigate fluctuations in energy price and production costs, robotic technologies can also replace human labor to operate safely and effectively in hazardous situations. For example, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is developing an explosion-proof robot that can perform a wide range of tasks geared toward potentially dangerous environments at nuclear facilities and on oil platforms, among other applications.

Widespread Deployment and Specialist Use

The use of robotics is increasingly common in many industry sectors. For instance, Amazon has more than 100,000 robots operating in its warehouses worldwide. There are agricultural robots picking everything from grapes to cabbages, too. In the oil & gas industry, however, robots must be designed for specific use cases. These automated technologies must be ultra-fire resistant, as well as able to withstand wear and tear from seawater, among a number of other particular specifications. Equally, they must be capable of a wide variety of demanding tasks, from climbing stairs to issuing alerts and initiating emergency protocols.

MHI’s experience in robotics dates back nearly 40 years to the 1980s, when it began developing inspection robots for operation in Japan’s nuclear power plant network. Since then MHI has expanded development of automated technologies for to include applications including underwater and radioactive environments, petrochemical fires, tunnel accidents and disaster recovery.

MHI Oil & Gas Robotics Solutions

Oil and gas operators are investing in this new generation of robotics technologies to improve workplace safety and boost operational efficiencies. The explosion-proof robot MHI has been developing can work in a wide range of potentially hazardous environments, and figures to even further strengthen existing levels of safety on oil and gas platforms. As a result, oil and gas companies can concentrate human labor where it is most effective and efficient.

On the strength of collaboration, customer insights and engineering excellence, MHI is developing technologies that not only will deliver significant efficiencies to customers in the oil & gas industry, but that will also make human workforces safer and more efficient.

This article was originally published on the MHI Oil & Gas website.