Seaspan invests in collaborative robot welding

10 Apr 2017
Seaspan is to lead a C$1 million investment in Novarc's collaborative welding robot systems, which aim to improve the efficiency of shipyard welding

Seaspan is to lead a C$1 million investment in Novarc's collaborative welding robot systems, which aim to improve the efficiency of shipyard welding

Vancouver shipyard group Seaspan is to lead a C$1 million investment in collaborative robotic systems company Novarc Technologies, which develops robots and advanced control techniques to make pipe welding more efficient.

The funding, with participation from BDC Capital, will be used to scale commercialisation of Novarc’s Spool Welding Robot (SWR), a collaborative welding robot designed for high-mix, low-volume production such as shipbuilding, oil and gas projects and water technologies. Novarc’s robots work with humans to make the best welds, which the company claims increases throughput and decreases costs while improving quality by reducing human variability in the welding process.

Jonathan Whitworth, CEO, Seaspan, said: “Innovation and technology are critical components of Seaspan’s vision of developing and growing a shipbuilding centre of excellence on the west coast of Canada. We are thrilled to partner with Novarc Technologies, invest in the future of the marine transportation industry and take another step closer to creating a brighter future for thousands of British Columbians and their families.”

Soroush Karimzadeh, CEO, Novarc, added: “Seaspan’s support of our pipe welding technology, used as a key solution in the shipbuilding industry, reinforces their drive to innovate in shipbuilding services and their leadership in the marine transportation industry. The considerable investment in our technology will allow us to more rapidly market our proprietary collaborative robots to the shipbuilding industry as well as to other key industries.”

This investment is part of Seaspan’s obligations under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), under which the company is committed to spending 0.5% of each NSS contract to contribute to the development of a sustainable marine industry in Canada.