PLP And Fulcrumair Release World's First Robotic Installation System For Overhead Power Line Spacers

June 22, 2023

PLP and FulcrumAir have partnered to develop and release the world's most advanced robotic system for installing conductor spacers on overhead power lines. The CSR-18™ robot is a revolutionary unmanned system that automatically and precisely installs PLP's CUSHION-GRIP® Twin Spacers on bundled conductors, helping to significantly reduce safety concerns for lineworkers while also exponentially increasing overall efficiency.

"Since our inception over 75 years ago, PLP has prided itself on being an industry leader in every respect. This partnership with FulcrumAir to develop the CSR-18™ robot further illustrates our longstanding commitment to bring the best, most innovative products to every market we serve," said Ryan Ruhlman, President of PLP. "Not only will the robot improve efficiencies, but it will also greatly improve the safety environment for utility workers around the world. The roboticization of the utility market will continue to expand throughout the next decade, and PLP is excited to lead the way in the transformation."

The CSR-18™ accurately installs PLP's CUSHION-GRIP® spacers at any pre-set distance to within a five-centimeter tolerance. The spacers are positioned at precise right angles to the conductor to ensure optimal performance, and the bolt is torqued to the utility or PLP's exact specification. This sequence happens automatically while also logging important quality control data, such as torque values and spacer locations, enabling the utility to easily reference it for future inspection and maintenance needs.

For utilities who wish to increase productivity even more, multiple robots can be placed on the phase conductors simultaneously to rapidly install the required spacers on two adjacent spans from one initial set-up location. Once complete, the bucket truck or crane can move two structures down the line to repeat the sequence, eliminating the need for spacer carts.

Successful field testing on a 240 kV system was recently completed for industry partners and clients to showcase the safety, efficiency, and capabilities of the CSR-18™ system for power line construction projects.

"FulcrumAir is extremely excited about our partnership with PLP. The CSR-18™ robot combines PLP's industry-leading product design expertise with FulcrumAir's robotic development knowledge to provide an extremely safe and reliable solution that will truly be a gamechanger for utilities," said Patrick Arnell, President & CEO of FulcrumAir. "After completing extensive laboratory testing and field evaluation trials, we are proud to announce the CSR-18™ robot is officially entering worldwide commercial service."

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