Robotics-as-a-Service & Technology Deployment

ULC’s Inspection and Maintenance Technologies Showcasing at No Dig Live 2021

ULC Robotics

Our UK team are set up to showcase our pipeline inspection and maintenance cameras and crawler systems, and discuss our latest revolutionary innovation, The Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) on outdoor stand 57 at No Dig Live 2021.

Delivering detailed visual inspection and mapping data inside pipelines from a single excavation, the M1 Inspection Crawler, VGC Crawlers, and the PRX250 are deployed for the gas industry to support project planning, pre-rehabilitation mapping, and identify and locate internal features. Our team is set to conduct daily demonstrations of the technologies in action throughout the event.

With upcoming RRES field trials in the UK set for this year, our experts will also be on hand to discuss RRES, which was co-developed by ULC Technologies and SGN to replace conventional excavation methods by using below ground sensing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to conduct an autonomous end-to-end excavation and reinstatement process.

The robotic system has already received the 2021 RBR50 award in the Application & Market Innovation class for utilities, and has been shortlisted for the ‘Innovative Product’ award at the UKSTT Awards which is taking place during No Dig Live 2021.

“I am delighted that we will be attending the event to showcase our pipeline inspection crawlers and cameras to the trenchless industry, as well as discuss the potential in expanding the capabilities of the current RRES platform,” said David McLeod, Head of Business Development at ULC. “We will be demonstrating our crawlers and talking to event delegates about the current RRES system, and the opportunities in developing new tooling and use cases for the platform to overcome challenges across multiple industries.”

If you would like to set up a meeting with our team, please contact: alexandra.pender@spx.com

ULC Robotics Supporting IGEM Scottish Section Charity Golf Day

ULC Robotics

We’re excited to be returning to the fairways of the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club on 10 September for IGEM’s Scottish Section Charity Golf Day! All funds raised from the 2021 event will be going towards SAMH, the Scottish Association of Mental Health, which provides vital services across Scotland surrounding mental health support and advice.

In 2020, ULC Robotics and SGN were the main sponsors of the event, which saw 50 avid golfers take to the course for an 18-hole competition and networking day. Thanks to sponsorship and donations on the day from companies across the industry, the event raised over £1500 for Prostate Cancer.

This year, the golf day will have different tiers of company sponsorship opportunities available for the day – check out the sponsorship packages available on IGEM’s website here.

Interested in attending? Check out the highlights video from last year’s event below ⤵

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ULC Named “Company of the Year” at UK Gas Industry Awards 2021

ULC Robotics

We are delighted to announce that ULC Robotics came out on top at the prestigious Gas Industry Awards ceremony after being named “Company of the Year” by the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM) and the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) for the first time ever.

For over 20 years, the Gas Industry Awards has recognised the gas industry’s most innovative and dedicated companies and individuals. The award ceremony identified the achievements of members and celebrated the best of the best across the industry. The winners of this year’s awards were named at the ceremony on 18 May which, for the first time in its history, was a virtual event due to COVID-19.

It is a massive honour for ULC to have been recognised for our innovative contributions in the UK gas industry since 2013, particularly alongside strong industry players. Our journey since 2013 has involved the deployment of CISBOT to remediate and repair over 120km of cast iron gas mains on Cadent and SGN’s networks around the UK with zero interruptions to customers’ gas supplies, the introduction of solar-panelled eco-cabins offering zero carbon emissions on site, as well as the introduction of 24 hour working to reduce highway possession.

We’ve also witnessed strong collaboration with the UK’s gas networks, including the development of new technologies and R&D concepts such as the revolutionary Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES) which was developed in partnership with SGN.

Thank you to all of our employees across the company, past and present, who have made this achievement possible.

For a full list of award recipients during the ceremony, check out the IGEM website. 

 

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ULC Robotics Lands Finalist Spot at UK Gas Industry Awards 2021

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics has been shortlisted for the Company of the Year award at the prestigious 2021 UK Gas Industry Awards!

For over 20 years, the Gas Industry Awards has recognised the gas industry’s most innovative and dedicated companies and individuals. The awards, which are organised by IGEM and The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), identify achievements of members and celebrate the best of the best across the industry.

Graeme Cleeton, VP of ULC Robotics said “It’s an honour for ULC Robotics to be shortlisted for Company of the Year by IGEM and the EUA for our innovative contributions in the UK gas industry since 2013. To be recognised alongside a real high calibre of industry players is an achievement in itself.”

Due to COVID-19, the awards ceremony was postponed in 2020, and the winners of the 2021 Gas Industry Awards will be announced on 18 May during a virtual ceremony. The awards ceremony attracts many professionals across the gas industry year on year, and provides great networking opportunities. We’re looking forward to attending virtually on the day.

For more information on attending the free event or to see the shortlisted nominations, click here.

A Day in the Life of a CISBOT Apprentice

ULC Robotics

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we spoke to one of our CISBOT apprentices, Lewis Greenan, to find out about his experience at ULC so far. Lewis is one of ULC’s five apprentices from Middlesbrough College, working across our UK CISBOT sites to gain hands-on mentoring from our experienced robotic engineers.

 

 

What’s a typical day like as a CISBOT Apprentice?

“The first thing we do when we get to site on the eco-cabin is to hook up the tether to the back of the robot and run it through a bench test, making sure it’s functioning properly before we launch it in the gas main. After checking everything is operating fine, I help to launch CISBOT in the gas main for operations to start. When CISBOT’s safely in the gas main, the operatives on site begin looking or sealing joints. Meanwhile, I carry out any maintenance that’s required in the eco-cabin or on spare equipment in advance of our next launch. Once the operations are coming to an end, I help to remove CISBOT from the gas main before cleaning the robot ahead of the operations the following day. After this is completed, we shut down the site and lock up, heading home before another day of work. My apprenticeship at ULC also involves doing remote learning one day a week with Middlesbrough College where I’m studying for a HNC in Mechatronics.”

 

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

“Since joining ULC, I’ve enjoyed getting involved in new opportunities across the company as well as learning about the other technologies we have. I’ve had the chance to take part in the training of one of our R&D projects, and will be taking part in the field trials this year. This will involve travelling to Scotland for two weeks, being out in the field and delivering insights for ULC’s clients.”

 

 

How did you find being classed as a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Working during COVID-19 was a unique situation. I was grateful that I was able to continue working and learning safely while carrying out work to help customers stay connected to gas supplies.”

 

What advice can you offer those seeking apprenticeships?

“Make sure you take up every opportunity that is presented to you. This will broaden your learning and maximise the chances of finding a great apprenticeship.”

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ULC Robotics Makes Utility Week Awards Shortlist for Critical Work During COVID-19

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, leading Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions provider and developer for the energy industry, has been shortlisted for the Utility Week Awards in the ‘Keeping Us Connected’ category with UK gas distribution network Cadent.

The ‘Keeping Us Connected’ award celebrates the contributions of teams and individuals working within UK utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. ULC and Cadent’s CISBOT team were nominated for their dedication and flexibility to continue with essential gas pipe remediation and emergency repair work to keep the gas flowing safely and reliably to local communities – all with minimal disruption.

Like many, COVID-19 had a significant impact on ULC and Cadent’s daily operations, meaning working practices were continually adapted throughout the year to align with restrictions, and most importantly, keep employees and the public safe.

The shortlisted entry discussed how teams were bubbled to continue providing critical gas remediation and enabling 3,669 joints to be remediated throughout lockdown, as well as offering emergency response work in iconic locations like Whitehall in London. The 6-week emergency project at Whitehall witnessed the successful elimination and prevention of gas leaks along a 359m section of 30” main. The team sealed 105 joints with minimal disruption to customers and the public while providing extraordinary cost-savings for customers.

The winners of the Utility Week Awards will be announced on February 8th during a virtual ceremony. For more information on attending the event or to see the shortlisted nominations, visit https://www.utilityweekawards.co.uk.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events and Webinars

ULC Robotics

Join our free webinars and virtual events to learn more about our industry expertise, services, and technologies. 

 

WEBINAR – Eliminate Accidental Damages During Your 2021 Gas Main Replacement Programs

Inaccurate and outdated mapping of features in gas mains can lead to third party damage, specifically when there are unmapped stubs, unknown connections to the main, or if there is no working tracer wire. In this webinar, attendees will learn how live gas main CCTV improves safety and efficiency during construction and main replacement by enabling crews to pinpoint and mark out the exact location of the main and all pipeline features, even those not traceable by traditional locating methods. 

 


 

Past Events: 

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE – Utility Week Live (24-26 November 2020)

Utility Week Live is the UK’s leading utilities industry exhibition. This year, ULC showcased the Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES), a collaborative innovation project with SGN. Attendees were able to view RRES conducting underground scanning, removal of the road surface, soil excavation and more. Visitors to our virtual exhibit also engaged with our team to learn about ULC’s aerial services program, which is expanding to the UK in 2021. 

 

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE – Energy Networks Innovation Conference (8-9 December)

The ENIC Conference features an impressive line-up of gas and electricity innovation experts, all coming together to share the learning from over 60 projects. ULC joined SGN’s and Cadent’s Virtual Exhibits to showcase the Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System project and our CISBOT work in the UK. 

 

WEBINAR – Using Acoustic Sensors to Detect Cross Bores: Technology Update (Dec. 9)

Cross bores have been identified as one of the top safety risks throughout the gas utility industry. In partnership with two leading US gas distribution utilities, ULC Technologies has developed a means to detect the presence of a cross bore from within PE gas mains and services. Join this webinar to learn about the technology and see some results from the cross bore inspection pilot programs.

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