Case Study

Transocean Automates for Safer, More Efficient Offshore Operations

FANUC Robots have helped Transocean maximize efficiency, improve consistency, and move workers out of potentially dangerous Red Zone areas.


ARC Specialties

  • Improve drilling performance and inconsistencies
  • Create a safer work environment by removing employees from the dangerous red zone.
  • Overcome environmental impact on the rig's operation, including wind, rain, and waves.


  • Automated solution that uses two FANUC M-900iB/280 FoundryPRO robots

  • The robots work consistently in a dynamic environment

  • The robots are equipped to react to variances in workpiece precision and extremely heavy torque loads

  • Improved efficiency and moved workers out of the red zone



Transocean, a leading offshore drilling contractor has rig operations located in harsh environment and ultra-deep water locations across the globe. In the offshore world, Transocean was challenged to improve their operator’s drilling performance. More importantly, they needed to create a safer environment for employees working in the dangerous red zone areas of the rig.

Transocean partnered with FANUC’s Authorized System Integrator ARC Specialties to design an automated solution to handle the drilling riser, which was the most labor-intensive operation. Before automation, this hazardous job required team members to carry heavy bolts and use brute force to manipulate torque wrenches for each bolt on the riser.

Today, the automated system uses two FANUC’s M-900iB/280 FoundryPro robots with enhanced rigidity for applications that require ultimate precision and can withstand harsh environments. The robots are also equipped with FANUC Soft Float software and a custom torque tool which allows them to react to variances in workpiece precision and the extremely heavy torque load. In addition, iRVision® enables the robots to “see” the position of the bolts.

This is the first system of its kind and has proven a huge success! It’s improved efficiency by moving Transocean’s skilled workers out of the dangerous red zone to other areas of the rig where they can perform different tasks. Another key benefit is achieving higher levels of consistency with the robotic automation without the concern for human safety.

Craig McCormick – Transocean

The robotic system has been highly successful. We were able to reduce the number of people in that dangerous red zone area to zero.

Craig McCormick

Senior Manager Innovation & New Technology, Transocean

Meet Arc Specialties, FANUC Authorized System Integrator

Since 1983, ARC Specialties has provided welding services and weld automation solutions.  Now a 60+ person company occupying a campus with over 75,000 sq ft. housing all the components for a vertically integrated manufacturing solution provider: research, design, manufacturing, assembly, and testing. 

Transocean Logo

About Transocean

For generations, Transocean and its legacy companies have led the offshore drilling industry with the most innovative and sophisticated technology and the people that put it to record-setting use.

Other Brands We've Helped

How can we help?

Ready to start your automation journey? Have questions before getting started? We’re here to help.

Ready to start your automation journey? Have questions before getting started? We're here to help.
Fill out the form below and a knowledgeable FANUC automation expert will be in touch.