Nick Mark, Eric Bridgstock, David Carey
Papers # 2016 Berlin
An insight into a unique approach to the management of electrofusion and butt fusion joint quality on polyethylene pipelines. The presentation will reference experience and learnings from a system that has already been used in the field to great effect (see Abstract) and a new approach to butt fusion (see enclosed paper on Bead Diagnostic Instrument (BDI))
New analysis methods for data are significantly improving the way polyethylene pipelines are being installed on pipelines worldwide. The quality of fusion jointing taking place onsite is a critical blind spot for the pipeline industry. The new approach is helping utilities and contractors to eliminate poor installation techniques and ensure that operators fuse to industry standards, thus improving the long term performance of the utility’s asset.
The key to this success is a unique combination of onsite data collection, remote live inspection, quality analysis and onsite expertise and, more critically, the way it processes live data to change behaviours and installation quality. By using this new analysis method, one of the UK’s largest water utilities has increased the quality of their polyethylene pipeline installation from 37% to 83%, and that percentage continues to rise steadily.
The efficacy of the technology and services can be demonstrated through the live data streaming in from sites across the globe in what could be considered one of the largest, most dynamic research projects in pipe installation worldwide. The numbers regarding this data are impressive:
- Over 500 active operators sending through live data
- Over 1000 joints uploaded from water, gas and multi-utility sites every day
- Over 1 million joints inspected in real time
- Over 200 supervisors receiving alerts to issues identified onsite
This live joint data uploaded by clients to analyse fusion trends, installation issues and emerging techniques and to change the way operators fuse onsite. Ultimately, this intelligence gives utilities and contractors the evidence to manage their quality control and continually track improvement. Joint data isn’t just collected from utilities and contractors – it is used intelligently to inspect, inform and improve.