Novarc Technologies Inc., a Canadian-based robotics company specialising in the design and manufacturing of cobots and computer vision AI for automated welding applications, announced today the deployment of its Spool Welding Robot (SWR™) at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards. This collaboration between Seaspan, one of Canada’s leading shipbuilders, and Novarc aims to transform pipe welding processes with automation technology, enhancing productivity, elevating welder safety, and ensuring consistent high-quality welds.

“We are very grateful for our growing partnership with Seaspan,” said Novarc CEO Soroush Karimzadeh. “Seaspan’s successful adoption of our pipe welding automation technology, first with their installation of the SWR at their Vancouver Drydock and most recently at Victoria Shipyards, is a testament to their innovation in shipbuilding, repair and overhaul services and their leadership in the marine transportation industry.”

This collaboration will amplify pipe welding and automation in the maritime industry. Integrating Novarc’s SWR™, the world’s first of its kind in pipe welding applications, into Seaspan’s operations will achieve efficiency, productivity, and welder safety while maintaining weld quality. The SWR™ streamlines welding tasks, significantly reducing manual labour time. Its advanced automation capabilities allow faster, more efficient welds, ultimately accelerating project timelines.

The SWR™ employs precise motion control and AI-based algorithms to consistently produce near-flawless welds. Equipped with cutting-edge vision systems, the SWR™ scans and analyses weld joints in real-time, ensuring precise alignment and optimal weld quality.

“Innovation and technology are critical components of Seaspan’s vision of developing and growing a world-leading ship repair and overhaul capability on the West Coast of Canada,” said Victoria Shipyards VP and GM Tony Winter. “We are excited to partner with Novarc Technologies with the latest installation of their pipe welding automation technology at our Victoria Shipyards which essentially revolutionises existing pipe welding technology.”

“Seaspan has been a great strategic partner for us, beginning with their initial investment in Novarc in 2017, and their continued support of Novarc in new product development, and adoption of our automation technology, which will ultimately benefit Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy,” said Karimzadeh.

The ‘human’ benefits of implementing automation are also key to Seaspan’s technology adoption. Specifically, traditional welding methods expose welders to hazardous conditions, including intense heat, fumes, and physical strain. The SWR™ eliminates direct exposure to these risks, promoting a safer work environment for Seaspan’s welding team. The SWR™ also collaborates seamlessly with human welders, enhancing their capabilities rather than replacing them. It augments their skills, allowing them to focus on critical decision-making while the robot handles repetitive tasks. Novarc’s user-friendly interface allows welders to program the SWR™ quickly and whether it’s a new project or a recurring task, the robot adapts effortlessly to different pipe sizes and configurations.

Novarc Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of welding automation solutions, specialising in cobots and AI-based machine vision solutions. Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards is the leading ship repair and modernisation facility on Canada’s west coast.