We create and implement solutions for carrying out complex plant assembly remotely in active and hostile environments.
Much of our experience in this field has been gathered through our work in the machine assembly group at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project.
Remotely moving large, heavy, delicate machinery and components around sensitive spaces is a challenge that draws on the breadth of our expertise.
Remote complex machine assembly is used in situations where environmental and other factors preclude manned access. In these cases, machine assembly tasks have to be carried out remotely, in difficult conditions such as extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation.
In these environments, tasks such as diagnostics, mechanical repairs, and equipment positioning, fixing, and assembly all may need to be carried out remotely. Sometimes tooling is necessary, sometimes jigs more intricate than the components themselves are required in order to position them perfectly. The tolerances can be very tight in sensitive environments, and all machine assembly activities have to be able to cope with fine tuning.
We advise on the design and construction of components, and the environments in which they need to be assembled and maintained. If this is possible, it helps us to make the equipment remote handling compatible from the outset. Sometimes, it is necessary to adapt gear to remote handling.
In the course of designing the remote handling system, we ‘de-skill’ the operations that need to be carried out, breaking them down into their tiniest component actions, to make them easier to perform remotely.
We check components prior to installation, and make an exact replica of the working environment, so as to be certain that a solution which works in tests will work for real.
Fission decommissioning is one particular area in which complex machine assembly presents interesting challenges. New plant will be needed in order to safely decommission facilities. The environments inside such facilities aren’t always fully understood at the time of specification. We make use of the full breadth and depth of our experience in solving the problem of making new plant compatible with old.