Introducing a new solution for weldingFramatome’s newly-developed Adaptable Welding Equipment is not simply a tool, but a complete welding system. It comprises everything from its own smart controller allowing remote internet or fiber optic control and use of basic analog power supplies to new weld heads. It is currently configured for narrow groove weld applications, but future adaptations for weld overlays and other repairs are expected. Additionally, the system is designed to use “on-the-shelf” parts that can be procured locally.
With this innovative AWE portable system, Framatome operators have the freedom and flexibility to adapt configurations to meet our customer’s needs and specific context faster than any other solutions on the market.
From internal collaboration to industrializationThe development of AWE resulted from significant investment and collaboration from Framatome’s Installed Base Business Unit and Technical Center teams in France, Germany and North America.
Faced with an upcoming need in Canada, the teams advanced the AWE system from prototype to industrialized product, completing the software development, field hardening the weld head and procuring five total systems for use during a steam generator replacement for a Canadian customer.
First implementation at customer’s site in AugustCurrently, all control units, weld heads and software have been finalized and field hardened, and will move into commissioning efforts to support deployment this summer. Craft laborers will be trained on the system in July to support narrow groove welding work on the CANDU reactor’s primary heat transfer lines in August.
Additionally, the system will be used for a U.S. steam generator replacement in the spring of 2022. The system is also being evaluated in France for nozzle inner diameter (ID) repair and traditional welding applications.
The AWE project clearly aligns with the missions of Framatome's Center of Excellence for Welding, commissioned in July 2020. The collaborators for the AWE developed a system that allows for strict application of Framatome’s standards for development and implementation, regional control of the industrial supply chain for materials, and reduced long-term cost for operations and maintenance.
Aligning with the Center of Excellence for Welding
“Research & development is a key part of Framatome’s strategy to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions to ensure the continued operations of nuclear plants worldwide,” declared Catherine Cornand, senior executive vice president, Installed Base BU. “Our global teams are committed to using their vast expertise to support our customers in the generation of safe, reliable, low-carbon energy.”