Home / Objectives

Project Objectives:

SO1: Enable the use of FSW for under water and under oil welding of steel: FSW is currently able to make strong, high integrity, low distortion steel welds in air. The tools, equipment and welding processes used to achieve this will need to be modified in order to provide the same capability when welding in water or in oil, whose thermal and friction coefficients in particular are very different to those experienced when welding in air. The ability to track the weld seam will also be far more difficult in water and oil, requiring more sophisticated control systems.

SO2: Deliver a prototype underwater FSW(U-FSW) head capable of robotic deployment: A friction stir welding head will be developed able to deliver the required forces, torques, rotation and travel speeds necessary to weld in the challenging environments posed by a liquid medium, either water or oil based. This will be designed such that it can be deployed by a robotic system, either underwater for repairs at sea or in a confined space such as a cargo hold or fuel tank.

SO3: Deliver AI-enabled robotic UFSW system capable of performing inspection and FSW underwater and in confined spaces: SO3 will be achieved through adaptation of a smart underwater work-class ROV identified by UoL and integrating it with the UFSW head from SO2. The ROV system will have high agility and smart navigation and control such that the weld area can be cleaned and prepped to high level prior to FSW intervention. High resolution underwater imaging and 3D reconstruction system will allow for a highly accurate model of the ship’s hull enabling precision manufacture of required repair patch. Autonomous underwater ROV control and ROV based machine vision system will allow delivery of the UFSW prototype to the accurate position subsea.

SO4: Deliver in yard FSW fabrication capability for modular build, modifications and retrofitting: Associated with document Ref. Ares(2020)6385777 - 05/11/2020 RESURGAM 6 This objective will be met by determining the range of existing CNC type gantry milling machines and similar arc /laser welding systems that can readily be adapted to perform FSW using a modular, retrofit head. A welding head will then be developed, based upon the performance requirements determined as part of WP1, which will enable yards to undertake modular build with a low cost of entry to the market.

SO5: Enable better connectivity and collaboration between European value chain stakeholders to drive modular/flexible manufacturing of ships and/or rapid repair, modification and maintenance of ships in water: SO5 will leverage the SMARTYards-Network created via an FP7 project to specify, design and build a RESURGAM digital platform that will bring together the European shipbuilding and maintenance value chain [including small and medium size shipyards, module builders (e.g. specialist shipyards), master shipyards (e.g. Airbus model for assembly) and maitenance solution/service providers) and provide them with digital tools (e.g. CAD/CAM software, modelling and simulation tools, digital twin, Virtual Reality tools and AI/ML) that allow them to seamlessly collaborate on the design/build of modular ships and/or design and implementation of repair, modification and maintenance of high-tech ships in air or underwater.

SO6: Ensure TRL6 is achieved for AI-enabled robotic system, modular build capability and supporting digital infrastructure. SO6 will be achieved by:

  • Demonstrating the AI-enabled FSW robotic system for underwater inspection and welding of a ship hull in a relevant environment (i.e. within the industrial cluster of consortium partner, ACLUNAGA).
  • Demonstrating modular fabrication capability by ensuring standard data formats, software architectures and hardware platforms are used whenever possible.
  • Trailing the supporting digital infrastructure (RESURGAM digital platform) within ACLUNAGA industrial cluster for: o Digital design and simulation of modular ship fabrication using the AI-enabled robotic FSW system; and o Digital planning and simulation of the performance of various ship repair, modification and maintenance scenarios using the AI-enabled underwater robotic FSW system.

SO7: Development of tailored business models to support the sustainability and commercialisation RESURGAM outputs: Market development and exploitation of RESURGAM underwater FSW robotic system and digital platform will be addressed by using agile and demand-driven product development approaches (e.g. Real Time Release). RESURGAM will link proven approaches with new strategies to deliver innovative solutions, support the marketing of the FSW robotic system/digital platform and identify new business opportunities. Market segments, target customers, tailored business strategy and exploitation plan will be defined. The consortium aims to get the confirmation of the willingness to pay for RESURGAM underwater FSW robotic system and digital platform services. A post-project business plan and business model for development of the underwater FSW robotic system and digital platform from TRL6 to TRL9 and sustainable RESURGAM business operation will be defined