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Robotics partnership leads the way for better productivity and safety in petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining

A PARTNERSHIP between two leaders in the robotics industry is set to bring the latest inspection technology to the petrochemical, renewable energy and mining industries, enhancing capabilities in Australia and the United States.

Perth-based robotic inspection and testing solution provider Nexxis has entered a partnership agreement and development collaboration with Blueprint Lab, an Australian robotics company which develops advanced robotic arms  for harsh environments.

The partnership will enable the world’s smallest underwater robotic arm – Blueprint Lab’s Reach Alpha – to be used by clients including top-side petrochemical companies, to support the inspection and maintenance of their assets.

The technology will be focused at onshore facilities but can be easily adapted for offshore assets such as oil rigs. Target regions will include Western Australia and Houston, where Nexxis has operations.

Nexxis Founder and CEO Jason De Silveira said the partnership was great news for these industries, ensuring ongoing access to the latest smart technologies.

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate and develop together, while solving both customer and industry challenges with the right solutions,” he said.

“Petrol and chemical processing facilities and mining and renewable energy sites have infrastructure that needs regular inspection and maintenance.

“Our exciting partnership will enable Blueprint Lab’s robotic arms to be integrated on Nexxis platforms, utilising our state-of-the-art software and technology to offer a complete comprehensive solution for clients tailored to their individual requirements.”

Sam Perez, Nexxis’ General Manager in Houston, said the technology would be invaluable for petrochemical companies, assisting them with non-destructive testing (NDT), close visual inspection (CVI) and foreign object search and retrieval (FOSAR) of their assets.

“Advancing dexterity and maneuverability capabilities is crucial for the future of robotic technology. This collaboration is an exciting step forward on this journey,” he said.

Blueprint Lab products offer complex inspection and intervention for industries including maritime infrastructure management, military/police operations such as special recovery, marine science and autonomous robotics research applications.

Blueprint Lab’s Business Development Manager, Anders Ridley-Smith, said Reach Alpha would “enable companies to inspect and maintain their assets without downtime, thereby increasing productivity”.

BluePrint Lab’s robotic arms are used in all kinds of harsh environments, mainly subsea, but the applications can be easily transferred to above water situations.

The cutting-edge robotic arm technology, developed by Blueprint Lab in 2018, will be able to access confined spaces and hazardous areas which pose a risk to human operators.  Its capabilities will include inspecting the condition of pipes and other infrastructure, checking for corrosion or cracking and recovering debris.

“Many large petrochemical companies have a mandate to remove humans from confined spaces and harsh environments by 2025,” Mr Ridley-Smith said.

“This partnership will play a significant role in helping these companies on this journey.”

Mr Ridley-Smith said Blueprint Lab had worked with Nexxis over the past three years and was excited about the latest collaboration.

“Nexxis is a leading petrochemical robotics company with a huge amount of industry knowledge and a global presence,” he said.

“We see great value in this collaboration. Nexxis knows the industry’s needs and we look forward to working together to develop specific solutions for our customers.”

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