Due to the light weight and modular concept, the system offers optimum flexibility in the choice of welding processes whilst assisting the welder with pre-programmed welding parameters to remain in control of the weld quality.
Today the system consistently produces high quality welds, thereby ensuring it’s users of meeting the increasing requirements of the oil and gas industry with respect to yield strength overmatching, corrosion properties or CTOD- or Charpy impact toughness requirements for heavy wall thickness pipe as typically applied in deepwater pipelines and Steel Catenary risers. The flexibility in (combination of) welding processes and welding directions makes the system ideally suitable for different welding techniques on the same project as occur on landlines (tie-ins, mainline, special sections), clad steel or other exotic types of pipeline steels.
In 1991, Vermaat Technics was approached by various pipeline construction contractors, to develop an automatic welding system that ultimately could support the companies goal to build world’s fastest and most reliable automatic welding system. To ensure the welding system would indeed provide the essential backbone in supporting the considerable production rates such a massive capital investment requires, the system had to be developed well in advance to ensure a track record that confirmed quality, flexibility, productivity and above all, reliability.
Key requirements were:
- Pre-programmed parameters for each pass and every location with adjustable tolerance;
- Able to use multiple welding processes and all welding directions;
- All passes applied externally to allow use on all pipeline diameters;
- All systems identical and able to weld all passes;
- Optimum maneuverability for the welders by using remote control and light weight bugs;
- Use of standard market components where feasible.
Because of our extensive expertise with robotic applications, the group contracted Vermaat Technics to carry out the detailed engineering and manufacturing and, last but not least, to develop the software, the heart of the system. Within months Vermaat Technics turned the concept into reality and in 1992 the prototype was finalized and manufacturing of the systems for the pipeline market started. In the summer of 1993 Amoco became the first client using the system on the 26-inch diameter P15 project, just off the coast of the Netherlands. The concept and final machines were an immediate success.
Having welded thousands kilometres of pipelines since 1993 in the range of 6 to 56 inch, the Veraweld concept has proven itself beyond any doubt by high production at very low weld repair rate.