Saturday, March 5, 2011

Visit at UFRJ, Wednesday 2011-03-02

While the majority of the group was visiting the Petrobras research center, the rest of us went to the non-destructive testing, corrosion and welding research laboratory of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). The laboratory was funded by Petrobras (PB), which finances about 70% of the costs. The rest of the financing is coming from the government and some cooperating companies. There are about 50 people working in the facility, where Adriana, one of the researchers in the metallurgy department showed us around, accompanied by specialists of each experimental setup.

The experiments are mainly carried out to serve Petrobras, but also its allied companies. For the corrosion tests, the samples are exposed to CO2 and H2S, gasses that are present when extracting oil. The devices are placed in fixtures and inserted into the test chamber for a test period of a few weeks to several months. Often chemically produced sea water is also used to get a realistic test environment. In reality, the samples are represented by tubes subjected to large pressures from the oil and the sea water, why some corrosion experiments are carried out with static loads present. After the experiments the samples are carefully analyzed using microscopy, x-ray etc. The UFRJ have made the standards themselves to serve their requirements on the materials. The labs are well maintained and the gasses are effectively collected and neutralized according to the requirement in the Kyoto protocol. The equipment is cleaned with nitrogen between each experiment to get reliable results.

The center is currently building a new research lab for multiphase flow loop experiments, which should be one of the best in the world when it is ready to take in use in 2012. The setup is to be a 50 m loop of tubes that can be tilted from 0 to 90 degrees and that supports a very controlled mixture of flow, pressure, amount of different chemicals, temperature, pH and so on to analyze corrosion. At certain pressures in the tube, the gasses works in the supercritical region, making them extra aggressive to the tubes. The goal is to find less expensive materials that can be used for pre-salt layer oil drilling at an average depth of 5 km, since the todays nickel based alloys are very expensive, still without lasting 10 years as expected. The production of this oil, which has been observed to be of very good quality, is expected to start in 2012 outside of the Brazilian coast.

The tubes have several requirements, to resist certain chemicals from inside, others on the outside. They have to manage the high pressures as well as being flexible to allow it to be put on rolls. To get all these properties, the tubes consists of many layers of different materials, from steel and other alloys to glass fiber reinforced epoxy.

The tubes are welded in pieces of 12 m and the strengths of the welds are tested by lower it in a large pool and pressurized until it explodes, using a maximum pressure of 400-600 bar. Tests are carried out both on new and used tubes to observe the degradation. To inspect the weldings without destroying the pipe, mainly x-ray is used, but they have also equipment for radiography, ultrasonic measurements etc.
Since many pipes combine metal with layers of glass fiber epoxy, it can be tricky to find defects like cracks, bad adhesion between layers and so on.  UFRJ are using three interesting techniques for this kind of analysis. One of them is based on acoustic emission (AE), meaning analysis of high frequency response form the pipe which can be used to find failures both in the metal and in the glass fiber. To find the weak areas of the pipe, they are using 3 or 4 AE-transducers, placed on strategic positions, enabling triangulation to locate the interesting points. The second setup is based thermal conductivity. By exposing the sample to a high power flash, the surface temperature is raised to about 40 degrees C and a thermal camera catches the unforced cooling at a frame rate of 30 Hz to find phase shifts, indicating defects. The method can be used to find failures to a deep of 8-9 mm from the surface. They demonstrated the method to us using a calibration plate, with amazingly good result. The third technique relies on ultrasonic, which they didn’t show in detail, but where newly bought equipment containing 64 channels will allow them to find the defects on pipes of length up to 12 m.

Finally they showed their 4-axis x-ray interferometer, a machine containing a unusual large chamber for the sample and a very fast detector and good primary optics. This machine can make an analysis as fast as in 15 minutes and is used for crystallographic analysis, welding, stress, film and micro diffraction measurements as well as textures experiments.

Posted by Kenneth

Visit at Petrobras, Wednesday 2011-03-02

On Wednesday 2th March the Swedish Production Academy visited PetroBras in Rio de Janeiro in the morning. Petrobras is a publicly traded corporation and the major stockholder is the Government of Brazil. They perform as an energy company in sectors: exploration and production, refining, oil and natural gas trade and transportation, petrochemicals, and derivates, electric energy and other renewable energy sources distribution.
Paloma Heringer from corporate communications presented Petrobras for us. Petrobras had a market value 2000 of 26 million US dollars and 2010 the market value was 237 million US dollars. Paloma explained for us that Petrobras have three key axes: Expanding the limits (exceed technical limitations), changing the mix (alternative fuels for vehicles) and sustainability. Of 1.629 people working at this R&D facility, 800 were researchers (48 % M.Sc , 27% B.Sc and 25% D.Sc.). According to Paloma, Petrobras have for every internal researcher 10 external researchers working for Petrobras and they are building up world class labs in Universities. Globally Petrobras has 77 000 employees. Working strategy for research are from lab to pilot plant and then to refineries. We visited a pilot plant with a typical capacity of 10g/h.
Petrobras also informed us about operations in the Pre-Salt. With the experience they have accumulated developing fields in deep waters; their technicians are now ready to develop the accumulations discovered in the Pre-Salt and the discoveries made in the Pre-Salt raise Petrobras to a new oil reserve and production level. The daily production of oil in the Pre-Salt areas should be as big as the other area 2020.

/Leif Svensson and Per Gabrielsson

 View from the new building over the old one.

Paloma Heringer from corporate communications presented Petrobras for us

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Providing the energy sector with adequate weather information to decision-making in the planning, operation and marketing.
Wind power calculations in order to prove to National Agency of Energy, through accurate measurements of wind speed and direction at various levels, using modern techniques for monitoring and data processing.
Estimated wind potential in climate and hydrological scenarios with computational tools adapted to Brazilian reality, taking into consideration proximity to complex topography and vegetation cover date.
Development of wind forecast applications in wind turbines and forecast application in satellites, also quantitative and probabilistic prediction of rainfall and flow to meet the flood control and planning of hydroelectric power plants with specialized technical assistance and issuing reports. 

The link to IPT's article on the Swedish delegation visit

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Visit at Brazilian Missile manufacturer Mectron Monday 20110228

On Monday the 28th, the last day of the Sao Paolo visit, the Swedish Production Academy visited Mectron in the afternoon. Mectron is a Brazilian company specialized in design, development and manufacturing of high-tech products in both military and civilian sectors and some of their customers are the Brazilian Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. Mectron has three business units in which they operate: Defense, Sensors & Avionics and Space and today they have about 340 highly specialized staff of which many are dedicated to R&D activities. Regarding the missiles, the time from start of product development to production differs between the products. However, 10 years seems to apply for several of the products which in a way give reason to the pricing of the missiles ($100k to $850k).
Within the Defense Business Unit smart weapons are developed and manufactured. Some of the products are MAA-1 which is a short range air-to-air missile, MAR-1 which is an air-to-surface missile and MSS 1.2 which is a laser guided surface-to-surface missile. The Sensors and Avionics Business Unit develops and produces aeronautical airborne equipment such as radar systems for both military and civil aircrafts. The Space Business Unit develops and produces i.e. subsystems and equipments for satellites.
The production facility of Mectron is very small today, mainly adapted to manufacturing of prototypes. Mectron focuses on the high-tech part of production themselves, such as managing the electronics within the front sensors. The machining for instance is almost 100% subcontracted whereas the integration of the parts is close to 100% done at Mectron. The “active integration” (where the entire missile is put together) is done at another Mectron facility 70km away from the HQ since they’re not allowed to handle the warheads due to restrictions/regulations.
During late 2011 Mectron plan to build a new production facility connected to the HQ in order to increase the production. Today their future way of working within their production system, similar to i.e. “Toyota Production System”, is under construction. Within this preparation for small to medium serial production some of the highlighted focuses to manage are visual management, process standard and deviation, people qualification and to strive for a continuous flow/push system.

 PADOK in another room without windows, you have to be a dedicated engineer to enjoy this
 Company facts
 Mectrons products have a long developement time
 Show room

                Robin Sundkvist Chalmers, Karin Romvall Mälardalens University, Pedro Neves KTH

Visit at Embraer, Sao José dos Campos Monday 20110228

Flying powerful towards the future with Embraer

We started early on Monday morning due to the two hour drive to our first company visit for our second week, Embraer in Sao José dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo. Thanks to our excellent bus drivers we arrived too early but we were warmly welcomed by Luana and Fernando. We started with some coffee and chocolate and thereafter they showed us the historical center where they have an exhibition about the history of Embraer. We learned that the first man to fly, according to the Brazilians, is Alberto Santos-Dumont so the tradition of aircrafts is well established in the country. The Brazilian government supported the start up of Embraer, they realized that it is possible to turn technology and science into an industrial company. Bandeirante was their first aircraft and had its premier flight in 1969. This was an aircraft for the defense market and since Embraer was controlled by the government at this moment they were only allowed to sell to the Brazilian air force. To open up for other markets they introduced aircrafts for both commercial and executive sectors.
After the visit Fernando had a presentation about Embraer and we were introduced to their different aircrafts and markets but also how Embraer works with technical development in several diverse areas, such as how to lower the fuel consumption and emissions, develop multifunctional structures as well as with new aluminum alloys and how to automate the processes in the production.
Jan-Erik Ståhl had a short presentation about the Swedish delegation and then we had two research presentations, Catarina Dudas talked about Simulation Based Innovization and Anna Malm gave a presentation about technology transfer.
Next topic on the agenda was the factory visit – what all of us were longing for. We went in to the buses and stopped at several different production hangars. I am used to the automotive industry and in comparison this was something completely different – they are actually using months as the unit when it comes to time. The production is of course very complex, we are talking about aircrafts, so they put a lot of attention to quality, security and in education of the staff.
To conclude our visit we had a delicious lunch with some of the friendly staff at Embraer, to whom we also had great conversations about projects at Embraer and possible future collaboration.
Over and out, Catarina Dudas
 Bengt Lindberg KTH

Unfortunately Björn got seriously injured and we really miss the Diffner announcement. Take care of you Björn!! You have a special cleaver sense of humor that takes a microphone speeches to another level. No Bengt or no Kerstin is able to replace you.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sightseeing in nice Sao Paolo

We had a vote at Saturday evening on the way home (the hotel is still located far from where we are). Three choices for startup time of tomorrows sightseeing..9..10..or 11. The majority chooses  9 …?
Sao Paolo has 20 million inhabitants and is the largest city in Brazil. All of Sao Paolo facts are found at What Wiki doesn’t tell is that every Friday they bake 11 000 000 pizzas in Sao Paolo. Pizza is “fredagsmys” here. Another favorite cousin is sushi and this the Sao Paolo people share with a lot of the members in PADOK.

 Per Gabrielsson Lund University/Alfa Laval

And the “do not park buses here” is just a suggestion..

 Odla kaffe i Lund?

 Björn Diffner Lnköpings University
Anna Malm Linköping University/SAAB, Karin Romvall Mälardalens University, Kerstin Dencker Swerea IVF/KTH, Danfang Chen KTH

 No comments needed

Kristofer Elo Linköping University, Danfang Chen and Victoria Rogstrand KTH