The automated welding system, Phoenix, consistently produces high quality welds to meet the ever-increasing requirements of the oil and gas industry with respect to weld strength overmatching, corrosion properties and impact toughness for heavy wall pipelines. Allseas developed the concept in 1991, seeking to improve pipeline welding technology with the aim to provide assured quality of each and every pipeline weld. Phoenix – which has welded over 12,000 km of pipeline since its introduction in 1993 – has undergone several advancements including dual torch and triple torch arrangements, further optimising the system and increasing the weld speed on large diameter pipes. All the detailed engineering and development of the hardware and software is performed in-house, as is as the manufacturing of the system itself. In this way, Allseas maintains full control over maintenance and project-specific modifications. Besides the obvious welding of carbon steel up to X80 grades, Phoenix has been used to weld stainless steel clad, Inconel clad steel, duplex, super duplex and 13 Cr materials using combinations of the processes available.
Internal welding inspection tool
Originally developed for Allseas’ pipelay scope on the Gorgon Jansz project, our internal welding inspection tool extends and enhances the eye and finger of the weld inspector. Equipped with a colour camera and laser surface profiler, the tool takes visual weld inspection to the next level with pin-point accuracy. The camera captures defects such as misalignment, unsatisfactory weld penetration and porosity. Using the high quality images that appear on the computer screen, the inspector can examine the colour appearance of the weld and the condition of the surface. Such is its precision, the internal welding inspection tool is accurate up to 0.05 mm.
Internal line-up clamp
The internal line-up clamp is an in-house designed hydraulic clamp with the purpose to reduce the global out of roundness of the pipe and reduce the required line-up time. The clamp fits two pipe sections together after they have been lined up. Uniquely, the clamp's hydraulic pressure can be regulated, and is substantial enough to alter the shape of the pipe end to optimise its circular shape. The maximum force per stamp can be set up to several tonnes so it can also be used for pipelines with heavy wall thicknesses. The reduced out of roundness of the pipe improves the quality of the weld and line-up process, thus ensures fewer weld repairs.