In 2016, Orano embarked on the Digital Transformation in its activities, incorporating it as a driving force, at the heart of its strategic challenges. To maximize the impact of the new digital and industrial technologies being rolled out, the programme was built on 4 key pillars:
Nanopix, making the invisible visible!
A miniature gamma camera lighter than any other worldwide (less than 300 g) makes it possible to geo-locate sources of radiation in 2D and real-time. Developed in collaboration with the CEA-LIST, the camera is dauntingly powerful, thanks to its coded mask.
MANUELA™ (Mobile Apparatus for NUclear Expertise and Localisation Assistance)
MANUELA™ is a portable radiological and topographical mapping device that operates in real time. The measurements are positioned in space and instantaneously transcribed in 3D onto a control screen. The data can be used in post-processing to prepare operator servicing scenarios.
IRIS is a radiation shielding system devised and developed by the Orano DS Research Department. It makes it possible to reduce the exposure of operators positioned in the axis of the flow when introducing or removing a tool, for example an investigation pole, by adjusting the diameter of the opening to the size of the tool, as with a camera diaphragm.
Industrial process optimization
From Malvési to Tricastin, the entire uranium ore conversion chain has been made the focus of an ambitious workstream to improve facility management. The BBrainCube tool enables real-time assistance to overseeing operators in real time, via a visual man/machine interface, who then adjust the appropriate parameters to optimise process efficiency and product quality.
Polar crane driving simulator
As part of its Decommissioning & Services operations, Orano has developed an immersive cabin, replicating real-life conditions (seat positioning, confinement, noise, reactor heat, etc.). The simulator makes it possible for polar crane* drivers, whether novice or experienced, to keep their technical skills at the highest level.
*movable rotating shaft found under the dome of the main building, making it possible to move heavy loads within the reactor structure
Orano Projets has been a skilled user of virtual reality technologies since 2012, when it equipped itself with an immersive room in Equeurdreville and a mobile “mini-basement” infrastructure in Montigny to be right at its clients’ side. Virtual reality is used in the design process, involving players very far upstream, from the engineering teams to the operators.
The use of drones, equipped with increasingly sophisticated cameras and sensors of different kinds, is becoming more and more widespread at Orano. It first started in 2014, with the aim of optimizing inspection and surveillance operations on industrial
and mining sites. Orano uses drones for not only indoor but also outdoor uses.
Outdoor applications Remote surveillance of industrial sites and buildings,
(Drone for Onsite Radiological Investigations, Characterizations and Assessments)
DORICA™is an investigation drone equipped with cameras and a measurement probe, DORICA™ enabling radiological data to be gathered in real-time, whether at height or along the walls. It operates alone or in tandem with the RIANA™platform.
RIANA™ is a motorized off-road platform with interchangeable physical, radiological and sampling modules. A "Jack-of-all-trades" in nuclear robotics, it reconstitutes a map of its environment in real time and has an automatic driving mode. It can work in collaboration with the DORICA™.
Born of a collaboration with the start-up DIOTA, TQC² is a mobile table-based device that can display, in real time and in dynamic mode, any differences between “As Built” and “As Designed” versions, upon receiving a machine or piece of equipment. In parallel, Orano is working to embed the solution on hands-free devices (helmets, connected glasses, etc.) that are now reaching maturity for industrial use.
MARA is a solution that makes it possible to project a virtual mesh on a wall to facilitate the mapping operations of radiological measurements.
The key characteristics of the Industry 4.0 concept lie in intelligent automation and the integration of new technologies into the enterprise value chain. The objective is to offer greater availability, performance and flexibility, while guaranteeing operator safety.
The integration and adoption of new digital and industrial technologies are transforming the group’s factories, logistics, construction sites, waste management and the daily lives of operators.
The connected & augmented operator will wear a variety of gear enabling greater autonomy, real-time analysis of the environment and communication links with the ecosystem.
These mainly digital handheld devices (smartphone/tablet, augmented reality glasses and headsets, audio and video communications and geolocation means, intelligent sensors integrated into vests, industrial data analysis tools), offer assistance in executing tasks (collection, transmission) as well as in decision-making (analysis, visualization), while guaranteeing better performance and safety at work.
In order to control radiological risks, radiation protectionists use simulation tools incorporating deterministic or stochastic calculation codes. These codes are complex to understand and their graphic interfaces are obsolete or not sized for industry 4.0. To meet the new challenges of reducing uncertainties in radiation protection and waste characterisation, Orano is developing a digital modeling/simulation platform integrating new technologies.
Replacing the geologist's notebook with an easy-to-use tool for optimised data collection, increased reliability and performance is now a dream within reach! Geologist 2.0 will visually display, in real time on a notepad device, the data captured by measurement devices on the ground. At any point in time, it can display an auto-completed map, giving the geologist an unmatchably precise record of each motion. This system also offers the geologist local data processing and facilitated decision-making
Because innovation is first and foremost collaborative, because it is nourished by inspiration and openness to the world, Orano embarked, several years ago now, on open innovation approaches based, among others, on an ecosystem known for its agility and capacity for innovation: that of start-ups and SMEs. Objective: accelerate the deployment of promising new technologies at the heart of the Group's activities.
Orano Innovation PME is an open innovation initiative launched in 2013. It aims to foster collaborative innovation between Orano and French SMEs. Rolled out as an Internet platform www.innovationpme.orano.com, it makes it possible to identify the best innovative solutions developed by French SMEs & start-ups, in other fields of activities than those of Orano and to associate them with the collaborative projects of the Group to meet its needs or those of its customers. Open innovation challenges are regularly posted on the dedicated website in order to address the technical issues encountered by the Group.
Orano Innovation PME is a means:
L’Alliance Industrie du Futur (AIF) is an association created in France in 2015. Its mission is to promote the modernisation of industry through new technological offers, digital or not, for all sectors (construction, transport, agri-food, energy, etc.).
The “Vitrines Industrie du Futur” label is one of AIF's actions. They are aimed at “giving visibility to the technological solutions and added value that come with digital transformation” made in France, to demonstrate their performance in real-life conditions, create an image of excellence and bring about inter-enterprise interaction and dynamics, whether large groups or SMIs.
Orano’s “Reality’’ project is premised on the contribution of virtual reality and augmented reality for the design and maintenance of nuclear reactors. At the heart of the system: an immersive room, video headsets and an immersive serious game . Thanks to digital technologies engineers from each of the partners entities in charge of a building site work on virtual models. They also experiment with a variety of scenarios, visualise project phases to reach “zero flaws”, an absolute imperative for the design and commissioning of facilities in the nuclear industry.
Orano continues to be part of the TOTAL Plant 4.0 incubator, in partnership with Air Liquide, Eiffage, Solvay and VINCI Energies. The open innovation approach is aimed at detecting start-ups that meet the business lines’ operational needs, using industrial measurement solutions that have reached the desired levels of maturity. Several calls for applications have been launched around themes of common interest: IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), Digital Innovation for Security, HSE (Hygiene, Security, Environment).
For over 5 years now, Orano has been participating in the Open Innovation Club dedicated to Digital Transformation, alongside Renault, Michelin, Naval group, Boehringer-Ingelheim, SNCF, Air-France KLM, ADP and Gemalto. Meetings are held every quarter to discuss both digital innovations and methods and best practices to support a change program.