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Status: Need is Closed

Automated Clamping of Pipelines for welding

Request Number

Point of Contact
Need was closed on
Nov 5, 2019

Subsea 7 is seeking technologies or ideas which can fully automate the clamping operation between separate line pipes for welding. The proposed solutions will automate the current manual connection of the internal line up clamp (ILUC) and enable the automatic connection of umbilical cords, power lines and enable internal camera scanning of the pipe weld.


The Internal Line Up Clamp or Internal Purge Line Up Clamp (ILUC/IPLUC) is used to stabilise the joining of 2 pipes for welding. The clamps (shoes pressing on the internal diameter of each pipe) are pneumatically operated outwardly, with options to flood/purge a chamber backing the weld area as a shielding gas as well as camera/laser scanning capabilities with power interfaces.

Each pipe (typically between 10m and 24m in length and 4” to 20” Outer diameter) are added to the next, with the stalk growing with each additional pipe.

During normal operation, the hydraulic, gas & power umbilical are disconnected to enable the incoming pipe to be lined up to the stalk and re connected to perform the clamping/purge/inspection functions.

Currently there are 1 pneumatic airline, 1 gas line, communication wires (including 24v power) via a 24pin “Harting” industrial multi way connector), 2x10pin camera/laser multi connectors. Alternative connection designs can be proposed.

The schematic below illustrates the basic functionality required and alternative approaches to the clamping process which meet the main characteristics are encouraged.


The following characteristics should be considered in the final technology offering:

  • Suitable for fully automatic deployment
  • Connection of umbilical’s/service lines (Air, gas, communication & 24v power)
  • Or alternatively withdrawal of the clamp entirely to enable re insertion after the next incoming pipe
  • Autonomous clamping, purge on/off & camera/laser scanning operation (e.g. own power source such as Lithium battery and Air tank, with wireless control
Key success Criteria
  • Minimum number of clamps required for different pipeline thicknesses 4”-20” in diameter
  • Minimum tolerance <0.5mm between connecting pipes
Possible Approaches
  • All approaches including ideas are welcomed to automate pipeline clamping operations
  • Alternative design approaches which meet functionality requirements are also welcome
Due Date
Oct 30, 2019
Items to be submitted

We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should:

  • Describe the technical approach. A strong technical content is preferred and should ideally include; information on the technological readiness of the proposal, any proof of concept data, reference to any peer reviewed publications  and potential route to commercialization.
  • Include a description of the responding organisation or team and their experience


Please use the Respond button in order to submit your proposal. We recommend:

  • Including a concise abstract summarising your submission
  • Attaching your proposal
  • Attaching any additional documents


Please note that only non-confidential information can be accepted. By submitting a response you confirm that the response does not contain any confidential information.

Gallery Moderator(s)
Oliver Worsfold
Request Number
Area of Interest