It’s not a trick question, it’s the reason Oxford Technologies exists.

Remote handling has a wide range of different applications. Our remote handling knowledge has its foundations in the nuclear fusion sector, at EFDA/JET. The environment inside an activated fusion vessel is extremely hostile to humans and needs to be kept exceptionally clean. As such, manned access is avoided at all costs, and work is carried out remotely wherever possible.

With this background, our experience in the field is unique. Working on time-pressured projects, with precious public funds at stake, has taught us to ask the questions that haven’t been thought of, and identify solutions to problems that haven’t occurred yet.

We can facilitate full life cycle remote handling, whatever the application

Consultancy

We provide consultancy, expert panel, and peer review services for remote handling and robotic applications. We advise engineers and managers on remote handling compatibility for plant and existing systems.

Specification

We specify remote handling equipment for all manner of projects, from space to fission decommissioning. We assess COTS kit if requested, and we’ll always use existing kit if it solves the problem.

Design

We design and supply specialist remote handling equipment, remembering to Keep It Simple, Stupid. We develop remote handling operations concepts taking the whole life cycle into account.

Planning

We develop remote handling strategies, and apply industry best practice according to the requirements of each problem to be solved.

We assess the feasibility of the tasks that need to be carried out remotely. We estimate what the duration of the whole campaign might be, and apportion resources accordingly. Mock-ups are specified and created to help us develop tasks and prove concepts. These range from bench trials to full scale replicas, from basic CAD to virtual reality environments. We use virtual reality models in task development that can then be applied directly at the implementation stage.

We create a full strategy, and plan of implementation, for the recovery of failed remote handling systems in service. Where necessary, we handle the  negotiation and successful qualification of remote operations campaigns, to meet Nuclear Regulator Safety regulations and requirements.

Implementation and management

We are uniquely experienced in preparing and implementing large scale remote handling campaigns in hostile environments. We implement remote handling operations campaigns to meet stringent productivity and quality requirements. We deploy staff on long term contracts to oversee remote handling operations, and provide training.

Whether or not Oxford Technologies is ultimately responsible for management, we construct, prepare and validate detailed remote handling operations procedures, optimised for user-friendly presentation to remote handling operators. We prepare facilities, logistics and staff for intensive remote operations campaigns. We also provide all the necessary systems to support remote handling operations, from virtual reality and animation to human-machine interface hardware.

Standards and Training

Through the different projects we have worked on since our foundation, we have almost literally written the rule book for remote handling standards and training. We share experience in the formulation of standards, training programmes, and procedures for safe and effective remote handling practice.

Technologies

RH equipment

  • Electro-mechanical/hydraulic/pneumatic transporter & manipulation systems
  • Force-reflecting master-slave systems
  • Remote handling transporter end-Effector systems
  • Remote handling multi-function service connectors

RH tooling

  • Handling
  • Cutting and welding
  • Cleaning
  • Inspection
  • 2D & 3D metrology
  • Radiological measurement & sampling.

RH related systems

  • Integrated wiring and piping systems
  • Viewing systems
  • Virtual reality & animation systems

RH Control & operations

  • Real-time control system hardware and software
  • Command, Control & Monitoring System and associated infrastructure
  • Human-Machine Interface hardware and software
  • Control Room hardware and software
  • Operations procedure implementation and management software