Innovation From Concept to Commercialization
ULC Drawdown Compressor

ULC Technologies Unveils Solution to Help Gas Utilities Accelerate Emissions Reduction

ULC Robotics

New Drawdown Compressor Technology Allows Gas Distribution Utilities to Avoid Venting Natural Gas

Natural gas utilities around the globe are under increasing pressure to reduce methane emissions from their natural gas infrastructure. In 2019, New York State passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) in a nation-leading effort to fight climate change to see an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. On a Federal level, the U.S. committed today also reduce its GHG emissions to 50%-52% below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030 and set the U.S. economy to net zero by 2050.

Even before being mandated to reduce emissions, many natural gas utilities are voluntarily taking actions to be greener. National Grid announced a bold target in 2019 to reduce their own direct greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and just last month National Fuel Gas outlined a pathway to reach a 90% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

“The ULC Drawdown Compressor allows gas distribution utilities across the globe transform the way they maintain and operate their infrastructure while meeting their environmental and emissions reduction goals,” says Nathan King, Director of Marketing at ULC Technologies. “Natural gas can become stranded in a section of pipe, leaving gas utilities with few options on what to do with that natural gas. This innovative product allows gas utilities to take that stranded gas and put in back into the active pipeline network—avoiding the need to vent to atmosphere.”

Two key emissions reduction strategies being implemented by gas utilities are pipeline replacement and gas main modernization programs. Replacement of cast iron and bare steel gas mains has been helping reduce leakage and create a more reliable, PE based gas distribution network. The ULC Drawdown Compressor supports these programs by enabling gas utilities the ability to extract the natural gas prior to abandoning older infrastructure.

“In addition to supporting pipeline replacement programs, the Drawdown Compressor has applications for a wide range of gas operations and maintenance activities,” says Nathan King. “ULC has been working with two leading Natural Gas LDCs to pilot the Drawdown Compressor over the past two years. The solution has performed well on small volume projects as well as large volume projects, which is why our utility partners are already calling it a one-stop-shop tool in their effort to meet emissions reduction goals. Plus, it runs off natural gas from the active gas main, so there is no need for external air compressors, and it never runs out of fuel.”

Contact our team today to discuss our Drawdown Compressor technology or to schedule a demonstration. Our team is also hosting a series of brief webinars to further introduce the system to utilities and utility contractors.

ULC Announces the Addition of Jason Herman, Vice President of Technology

ULC Robotics

Jason Herman, VP of Technology

ULC Technologies welcomes the addition of Jason Herman, who joins the team as Vice President of Technology. Jason’s role will be key in delivering on ULC’s growth initiatives through increased support of R&D projects, better aligning innovations with market opportunities, and the introduction of new products and product enhancements.

Jason has lead engineering teams in highly technical industries and brings his strong experience as a business and technical leader to ULC. Prior to joining the team, he spent over 17 years at Honeybee Robotics where he recently held the position of Vice President and Business Unit Director with a primary focus in the space robotics industry. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University and he is a licensed professional engineer.

Jason will be based out of ULC’s Hauppauge, NY headquarters.

construction industry robotics

Virtual Event | RRES Field Trials Event with SGN

ULC Robotics

ULC Technologies and UK gas distribution network, SGN, are approaching the end of the collaborative Ofgem funded innovation project to develop an all-electric excavation robot which will revolutionise the way that roadworks are performed, the Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System (RRES).

Under the Surface of CISBOT: A Look Behind-the-Scenes of Commercial Robotic Operations

Many who are familiar with our CISBOT work will recognize the set up in the field – our crews working at a small site with our ULC truck or eco-cabin parked and the robot deployed in the gas main.

Behind the delivery of these complex robotic operations are additional crews working behind-the-scenes every day, across the U.S. and the UK, to ensure that our CISBOT operation continues to run successfully and well into the future by evolving and improving our systems. This includes mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, electro-mechanical technicians, product managers, field training managers, operations leads, and others.

Here’s a glimpse at the work that goes on behind-the-scenes:

ULC Robotics Announces Acquisition by SPX Corporation

ULC Robotics

ULC will join the company’s Detection and Measurement segment focused on location and inspection technologies

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2020ULC Robotics, a pioneer in Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions and technology development for the energy, utility and industrial markets, today announced that the company has been acquired by SPX Corporation, a supplier of highly engineered products and technologies, holding leadership positions in the HVAC, detection and measurement, and engineered solutions markets. ULC will join the Detection and Measurement segment of SPX which will contribute to ULC’S overall growth as a business and better position the company for product commercialization.

“We are delighted to join the SPX family and look forward to the continued growth of ULC Robotics in this exciting new phase,” said Gregory Penza, CEO and founder of ULC Robotics. “SPX’s extensive resources, expertise at commercializing new products and dedication to growing its Location and Inspection portfolio create attractive opportunities for ULC’s employees and customers alike.”

SPX will support ULC in product commercialization and market development of inspection technologies. The addition of ULC Robotics will round out SPX Corporation’s Detection and Measurement segment, which encompasses businesses focused on underground locators and inspection equipment, fare collection systems, and communication technologies products.

“We are excited to welcome the ULC Robotics team to SPX,” said Gene Lowe, President and CEO of SPX Corporation. “ULC’s Robotics-as-a-Service business is a strong complement to SPX’s world-class suite of solutions for the location, inspection and maintenance of underground infrastructure; and, the addition of ULC’s R&D business further enhances SPX’s capacity to develop advanced technology solutions for customers across our platforms.”

“Becoming a part of the SPX team will support ULC’s ongoing commitment to develop and deploy advanced technology for energy and utility companies around the globe,” said Robert Kodadek, President of ULC Robotics. “The future of ULC has become even stronger through this partnership.”

More information can be found in the SPX Corporation press release: www.spx.com/investor-relations/financial-news-releases.

EC Mergers & Acquisitions acted as the exclusive financial advisor to ULC Robotics.

 

Facebook Connectivity Fiber Optic Cable Robot

ULC Robotics Collaborates with Facebook Connectivity to Develop Aerial Fiber Deployment Robot

ULC Robotics

Overhead power line crawling robot to install fiber optic cable on existing electric infrastructure

More than 3.5 billion people globally are still not connected to the internet. Facebook Connectivity, in collaboration with ULC Robotics and several other partners, has been working on developing a robotic solution that can drastically reduce the cost of fiber installation.

Engineering teams at ULC Robotics are developing a robotic platform that can crawl along overhead medium-voltage powerlines and cross obstacles to wrap a specialized fiber optic cable around the power line. More information about the project can be found on the Facebook Engineering Blog and pilot programs are anticipated to begin next year.

Read more about ULC Robotics on our About Us page.

ULC Robotics Named In Builtworlds 2020 Infrastructure Tech 50 List

ULC Robotics

BuiltWorlds, a leading technology information network, has recognized ULC Robotics as a key player in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

The Infrastructure Tech 50 List features solutions which address planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance on a variety of infrastructure assets including roadways, bridges, tunnels, and more.

ULC Robotics was recognized for their development and use of robotics for Asset Management & Maintenance.

For more information please visit BuiltWorlds.

Webinar | Introducing RRES: Robotics and AI for the future of Utilities with ULC and SGN

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics and UK gas network SGN recently held their first joint webinar to introduce the Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System, an advanced system which will replace conventional excavation methods. Hosted by the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) and The Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), the webinar was led by ULC’s RRES Project Engineering Lead Dr. Ali Asmari, SGN’s RRES Project Lead Ollie Machan and SGN’s Head of Innovation John Richardson.

The Ofgem-funded project aims to lower the cost and improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of utility excavations on underground infrastructure in both rural and urban environments.

Watch the full webinar below.

ULC Robotics & SGN to Hold Webinar on Robotics and AI to Introduce RRES

ULC Robotics

ULC Robotics and UK gas network SGN are holding their first joint virtual event today. Hosted by Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) and The Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), the webinar will outline how ULC Robotics and SGN are developing the Robotic Roadworks and Excavation System, an advanced robotic system which will revolutionize roadworks by replacing conventional excavation methods.

The webinar will be led by RRES Project Engineering Lead Dr. Ali Asmari, ULC Robotics and RRES Project Lead Ollie Machan, SGN. The pair will present the Ofgem-funded project, which aims to lower the cost and improve the efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of utility excavations on underground infrastructure in both rural and urban environments.

Attendees of the sold-out webinar will be able to submit questions about the project during a Q&A session. The RRES project team will continue to hold virtual and in-person events as advancements continue to be made.

Follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on additional project developments and other company news.

ULC Robotics Tests Drone Tech at Former Grumman Site

ULC Robotics

LI-Based Robotics Firm Builds Unmanned Aerial Systems Locally to Support Future Windfarms

ULC Robotics, a rapidly expanding Long Island-based technology firm serving the utility and offshore wind markets, has been granted a temporary license agreement to use the inactive western runway at the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) for testing of their unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones.

The request was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Riverhead Town Board on April 7, 2020 and enables ULC Robotics to use a 2,500 square foot area for flight test operations of their custom-developed, US-built blended wing body vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fixed wing aircraft.

“Having open space away from the general public is key for us to safely perform flight testing of our new blended wing body VTOL aircraft,” said Mike Passaretti, Director of Aerial Services at ULC Robotics. “And there’s a lot of great history at EPCAL. It was the former site of the Grumman Corporation, where they assembled and tested their aircraft, so it feels like we’re reviving a little bit of Long Island’s aviation history.”

The VTOL aircraft is being developed at ULC Robotics’ Hauppauge, NY headquarters in order to support offshore wind farms, which are to be built off the coast of Long Island. By building and operating their purpose-built UAS to support wind farms, the company estimates a significant 6.8% reduction in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and expects a considerable reduction in or elimination of safety hazards.

ULC Robotics will deploy their VTOL aircraft to provide services including protected species observation during offshore wind farm construction, inspection of critical assets, the delivery of parts for repairs, and even search and rescue efforts.

ULC Robotics started supporting the offshore wind industry in 2018 by inspecting the wind turbine foundations of the Block Island Windfarm, the first windfarm in the US. The company has since continued work for Orsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm, and also currently performs unmanned aerial services for companies such as PSEG Long Island, National Grid, and Con Edison.

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