Robotics-as-a-Service & Technology Deployment
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Inaccurate and outdated mapping of features in gas mains can lead to third party damage, specifically when there are unmapped stubs, unknown connections to the main, or if there is no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.

Under the Surface of CISBOT: A Look Behind-the-Scenes of Commercial Robotic Operations

Many who are familiar with our CISBOT work will recognize the set up in the field – our crews working at a small site with our ULC truck or eco-cabin parked and the robot deployed in the gas main.

Behind the delivery of these complex robotic operations are additional crews working behind-the-scenes every day, across the U.S. and the UK, to ensure that our CISBOT operation continues to run successfully and well into the future by evolving and improving our systems. This includes mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, electro-mechanical technicians, product managers, field training managers, operations leads, and others.

Here’s a glimpse at the work that goes on behind-the-scenes:

ULC and SGN Sponsor IGEM’s Scottish Section Charity Golf Day

ULC Robotics

Following a great day at IGEM’s Scottish Section Charity Golf Day on Friday 4th September, ULC is delighted to announce that over £1,500 has been raised for Prostate Cancer UK!

The fundraised total could not have been achieved without the help of the attendees, the ULC and SGN teams, and the hole sponsors, Flowstop Services Ltd, Honeywell, Gas Assessment and Training Centre Ltd., R2M Site Services Ltd, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and Print & Digital Sourcing.

We would like to say a special thanks to the Royal Musselburgh Golf Course for hosting the day, along with the support of PGA Professional, Calum Smith.

Check out video highlights from the golf day here.

ULC Robotics Announces Acquisition by SPX Corporation

ULC Robotics

ULC will join the company’s Detection and Measurement segment focused on location and inspection technologies

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2020ULC Robotics, a pioneer in Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions and technology development for the energy, utility and industrial markets, today announced that the company has been acquired by SPX Corporation, a supplier of highly engineered products and technologies, holding leadership positions in the HVAC, detection and measurement, and engineered solutions markets. ULC will join the Detection and Measurement segment of SPX which will contribute to ULC’S overall growth as a business and better position the company for product commercialization.

“We are delighted to join the SPX family and look forward to the continued growth of ULC Robotics in this exciting new phase,” said Gregory Penza, CEO and founder of ULC Robotics. “SPX’s extensive resources, expertise at commercializing new products and dedication to growing its Location and Inspection portfolio create attractive opportunities for ULC’s employees and customers alike.”

SPX will support ULC in product commercialization and market development of inspection technologies. The addition of ULC Robotics will round out SPX Corporation’s Detection and Measurement segment, which encompasses businesses focused on underground locators and inspection equipment, fare collection systems, and communication technologies products.

“We are excited to welcome the ULC Robotics team to SPX,” said Gene Lowe, President and CEO of SPX Corporation. “ULC’s Robotics-as-a-Service business is a strong complement to SPX’s world-class suite of solutions for the location, inspection and maintenance of underground infrastructure; and, the addition of ULC’s R&D business further enhances SPX’s capacity to develop advanced technology solutions for customers across our platforms.”

“Becoming a part of the SPX team will support ULC’s ongoing commitment to develop and deploy advanced technology for energy and utility companies around the globe,” said Robert Kodadek, President of ULC Robotics. “The future of ULC has become even stronger through this partnership.”

More information can be found in the SPX Corporation press release: https://www.spx.com/news-and-events/news-releases/.

EC Mergers & Acquisitions acted as the exclusive financial advisor to ULC Robotics.

 

UAS emergency response inspection services

ULC Robotics’ UAS Team Assists with Tropical Storm Isaias Response for PSE&G in New Jersey

ULC Robotics

Tropical Storm Isaias hit the East Coast this week and caused millions of power outages as a result of 50 mph and higher wind gusts, fallen trees, branches and power lines. In New Jersey, thousands of workers, tree trimmers and other mutual aid from as far as Canada have been working around the clock to help repair damage, restore power and respond to extensive tree damage across the region. Due to the destruction, many affected areas are inaccessible by utility vans or are too dangerous to investigate on foot.

ULC Robotics’ unmanned aerial systems (UAS) team is working with PSE&G in New Jersey to deploy a drone to inspect transmission and distribution circuits that have been affected by the storm. The data collected will help PSE&G get a more comprehensive assessment of the damage and will assist the utility in rapidly restoring power to their customers. The aerial inspection will also help prevent any pending outages, for example identifying large trees laying on the power lines that could potentially lead to an outage.

CISBOT: 29,000 Joints and Counting

ULC Robotics

Since commercial work with large diameter CISBOT began in 2010, our team has remediated more than 29,000 joints – equivalating to over 65 miles of cast iron mains (16”+). ULC Robotics’ operations have scaled up considerably over the past few years and we now have a fleet of 15 robots working daily in New York, Boston, St. Louis, London and other areas of the US and UK.

By the end of 2020, ULC Robotics expects to have sealed an additional 40 miles of cast iron gas mains and we are building five additional robots to support increased demand in this technology.

CISBOT enables our customers to dramatically reduce the costs and timelines associated with upgrading or modernizing pipelines, while minimizing impact on customers and communities. Substantial financial benefits and reduced social and environmental disruption has allowed our utility customers to capitalize on CISBOT and make this technology part of approved rate cases.

We are continuing our dedication to environmentally responsible practices with the introduction of solar-powered operation stations. Currently deployed with Cadent Gas in the UK, these new stations enable the further reduction of carbon emissions and help our customer reach its net-zero environmental targets.

For more information on CISBOT and to learn how to ULC Robotics can help strengthen and remediate your natural gas network, please visit: https://ulcrobotics.com/services/cisbot-robotic-cast-iron-joint-sealing/.

ULC Robotics Supports UK Decarbonization Goals with Advanced, Eco-Friendly Operation Stations

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics, a leading Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions provider, is expanding its ability to sustainably and safely deliver leading-edge technology to the energy industry.

“ULC Robotics are exploring the use of innovative solutions to improve our daily operations and make any adjustments necessary to support the country’s recent decarbonization goals,” said Graeme Cleeton, VP of UK Operations.

In collaboration with Boss Cabins and TAG Systems, ULC Robotics has created a new control center cabin for its UK CISBOT operations. CISBOT, short for Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot, works within live gas mains to seal aging or leaking joints, extending their lifetime by fifty years. The robot is powered by a generator and is typically operated during a 12-hour window by a crew from within a box truck.

Working closely with Boss Cabins, market leader in welfare cabin design and manufacturing, ULC Robotics outlined a variety of safety and environmental concerns to help produce a distinctive, one-of-a-kind cabin to meet their unique needs.

“These container units will help us maintain our practice of providing environmentally sound, minimally disruptive services to our clients,” said Cleeton.

The newly built 20-foot mobile units have been furnished with solar panels, which are used to charge lithium-ion batteries during daylight hours. The batteries are then able to power the unit at night, enabling 24-hour operations. In the event that there is not enough light to charge the batteries adequately, the unit is equipped with an efficient, silent-run generator to provide back-up power. The eco-friendly dual-power solution mitigates any noise pollution and minimizes project emissions.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with ULC on this unique new cabin and helped to find solutions to the operational, safety and environmental issues raised,” said Tim Allan, Director at Boss Cabins. “The purpose-specific design will, we hope, enable ULC to work more effectively over longer periods with less disruption and minimal environmental impact.”

Each cabin is outfitted with a state-of-the-art security system, custom designed by Tag Systems, Europe’s leading manufacturer of wireless security equipment. The system includes high definition CCTV cameras, motion detectors, and an alarm linked to a security response team.

The first two units were delivered in January 2020 and installed in Sloane Square, London, at job sites for UK gas distribution network Cadent. The units have received praise from local government and have enabled ULC Robotics to celebrate their first carbon-neutral day on January 31st.

CISBOT Travels Manchester Underground to Remediate Cadent Gas Network

ULC Robotics

Continuing their dedication to reliably delivering gas to 11 million homes and businesses, Cadent has expanded their robotic remediation work to the greater Manchester area.

Using CISBOT, ULC Robotics’ cast iron joint sealing robot, Cadent is working on a 263 meter section of 16” live gas main running beneath the Langley Road area in Salford. Originally selected due to a history of gas leaks, CISBOT is also being used to seal non-leaking joints within the main, negating the need for repeat work on this same pipe.

This is fantastic technology—a fast, efficient and non-disruptive way for us to check and seal joints at risk of failing as they age,” said Adam Hassall, Network Engineer at Cadent. “It’s essential work, reducing the risks of gas escapes and extending the life of gas mains relied on by hundreds of thousands of people for warmth.”

Over the course of one week, the robot will work quietly below ground to seal 50 joints and extend the life of the pipeline by an additional 50 years.

“Undoubtedly, the residents here are probably thinking, what are we doing?” said Graeme Cleeton, VP of UK Operations at ULC Robotics. “Because we are not impacting on them, we are not disturbing their gas supply and we are not digging excavations outside their property.”

Cadent has deployed a second CISBOT robot at Featherstall Road North in Oldham to operate within 299 meters of 18” pipe and seal 109 joints. Cadent has also identified an additional 4 kilometers of main in central Manchester for work in 2020.

To read the full story, visit Manchester Evening News.

ULC Robotics Finalist for Utility Week Partner of the Year

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics was recognized for their work with Cadent and SGN, using CISBOT to remediate critical portions of their cast iron natural gas mains. The work took place in high-profile locations across the UK, including George Street in Edinburgh and Oxford Street in London.

The Utility Week Awards reward and celebrate outstanding performance and innovation across utilities. The winners of the Utility Week Awards will be announced on December 9th during a ceremony held at the Grosvenor House in London. For more information or to view the entire shortlist please visit the awards website.

ULC Robotics & SGN Celebrate Six Years with CISBOT

ULC Robotics

Since 2013, ULC Robotics has partnered with UK gas network SGN on a variety of projects designed to drive innovation and solve daily operational challenges through ground-breaking technologies.

Our partnership had led to the commercialization of our CISBOT technology in the UK, where robotic repairs for gas mains remediation is now business as usual. Using CISBOT, SGN has been able to successfully upgrade 44 kilometers of live natural gas mains, sealing more than 12,000 joints beneath some of Britain’s most iconic, highly-trafficked roads including George Street, Edinburgh and critical portions of their southern network.

Using CISBOT technology over the past six years has really revolutionized roadworks. Robotic technology reduces the need for multiple excavations and trenches, reduces disruption on the roads and saves time and money, which is excellent news for motorists, our customers, and the local community.” -John Richardson, Head of Innovation, SGN

Read the full press release here.

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