PLP and FulcrumAir have partnered to launch the world's most advanced automated robotic system for installing helically-shaped bird diverters on overhead power lines. The Mini LineFly™ is an unmanned system that automatically and precisely installs PLP's BIRD-FLIGHT™ Diverters on overhead lines, helping to significantly reduce safety concerns for lineworkers while also increasing project efficiency.
"We are excited to collaborate with FulcrumAir to launch this newest addition to our expanding lineup of robotic installation solutions," said Ryan Ruhlman, president of PLP. "The Mini LineFly not only offers the most efficient method for installing bird diverters but, more significantly, contributes to enhancing the safety environment for utility workers around the world."
The Mini LineFly accurately places PLP BIRD-FLIGHT Diverters at predetermined intervals, maximizing the performance to help safeguard wildlife from accidental contact with power lines. This wildlife protection device reduces the probability of unintended bird collisions by enhancing line visibility, helping to protect diverse avian species and mitigate potential costly and problematic power outages.
The first implementation of robotically installed PLP BIRD-FLIGHT Diverters took place during the recent High Banks Wind Project in Kansas. Nearly 15,000 bird diverters were installed using robotics along the 75-mile 345 kV transmission line spanning Marshall, Republic, and Washington counties. The High Banks Wind Project delivers about 600 MW of dependable renewable energy to customers in the American Midwest.
"We are extremely pleased with how the Mini LineFly performed during this demanding project," said Patrick Arnell, president and CEO of FulcrumAir. "Our mission is to develop and operate equipment that assists electric utilities with the industry's ongoing challenges, including staffing shortages, the increased need for safer work sites, and overall project efficiency requirements."
Alongside the Mini LineFly, PLP and FulcrumAir also recently introduced the CSR-18™ Robot, a state-of-the-art robotic installation system designed for PLP CUSHION-GRIP® Twin Spacers. Both robotic solutions are fully operational worldwide, with multiple projects initiated globally.