Spire uses robotic technology, continues safe, reliable energy delivery

ST. LOUIS – Spire is breathing new life into the natural gas infrastructure with groundbreaking technology.

“At Spire, we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to improve the delivery of natural gas, both for field operations and for our customers,” Tim Goodson, vice president of operations at Spire, said.

Spire crews work each day to ensure safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to their customers. Crews now have an extra crew member to help with the work, a robot named CISBOT.

CISBOT, developed by New York-based ULC Robotics, has the ability to travel through large-diameter gas mains to repair joints from the inside without interruption to natural gas service. According to Spire, the joints connect pieces of pipe together every 12-feet along the pipeline and are inspected regularly to ensure integrity and reduce future repairs. Through the inspections and repairs, future leaks are prevented and the life of large-diameter pipes, located underground, is extended.

“While the robot focuses on this project, additional construction crews are freed up to work on other important projects around the metro,” Goodson said.

With the use of robotic technology, Spire customers are reported to see an array of benefits including faster repairs, cleaner sites, more efficiency, and the ability to stay connected to gas service.

Goodson shared that Spire will be sealing nearly 14,000 feet of pipeline robotically in 2019, with little disruption to neighborhoods. He said by using this technology, Spire crews are delivering their promise to their customers of a reliable system with low rates.

Ryan McGowan, vice president of field operations at ULC Robotics, said the partnership shows Spire’s commitment to invest in infrastructure for the betterment of the customers.

“Identifying and sealing these pipeline joints with CISBOT helps Spire to provide even safer and more reliable service for years to come,” McGowan said.