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New approach to pipeline inspection

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AUSTECK is set to release the all new P600 mini mainline system, a world first that is set to revolutionise the conventional approach to CCTV pipeline inspections.

Boasting Pearpoint flexiview technology, the P600 is capable of inspecting pipes from 100mm to 450mm in diameter and, unlike conventional CCTV systems, can be independently positioned directly adjacent to the inspection opening or entry point.

The P600 is an extremely lightweight and portable unit that incorporates every component of a mainline inspection system in a fully integrated, all-in-one configuration.

The P600 provides for a quick, easy to use and highly cost effective alternative to traditional survey techniques and, with more than 20 pre-release orders already on the books, is sure to enjoy the same reception in Australia as it has overseas.

This inspection of infrastructure constitutes a major part of the asset management process and with the influx of new technology offers an ever increasing degree of accuracy, diversity and dependability.

Traditionally, public bodies such as water authorities and municipal councils have contracted this survey work out to the private sector, specifying the detail and volume of surveys required and, as far as submission requirements are concerned, the format in which the assessment reports must be presented.

However, lately, more and more government authorities are starting to purchase their own equipment, not so much for their larger mainline work but more for troubleshooting in the smaller house service lines and reticulation networks.

This new line of approach is particularly so for rural councils where their remoteness is prohibitive of contract work due to expense, availability and response time especially when immediate action is required.

For example, last year Austeck sold 20 of its Pearpoint Flexiprobe ELS camera systems to regional NSW councils alone and well in excess of 30 to other councils and water authorities across the country.

The ELS system is purpose built and extremely versatile, with the ability to inspect household service lines as well as mainlines and mainline connections, lending itself perfectly to a range of different applications.

Designed so it can be easily upgraded with the arrival of new technology, such as the new auto-upright/self leveling camera head and the new TwinView mainline and lateral inspection camera, it is certain to continue to attract a great deal of attention from both the public and private sectors alike.

The technology and information age has effected our approach to asset management much as it has effected all of industry on a global scale. It has in fact seen the marriage of two forms of infrastructure - the new and developing information network and the well established pipeline networks.

Austeck has recently increased its product range to embrace a wide variety of new systems. The new systems are all geared towards the elimination of human error, increased reliability of technology and, ultimately, accuracy of information.

The new Sonar system from Telespec is one such system that goes one step further to achieving just that.

The ability to detect and measure changes in pipe shape, be it due to deformation, siltation or corrosion etc, is difficult using conventional CCTV camera systems as there is no calibration or reference point by which to make such measurements.

This is further exacerbated by the field operator being bombarded with an abundance of information from the CCTV camera, thereby running the risk of missing subtle, but relevant, changes in the pipe shape.

Rigid pipes, such as vitrified clay, present no real problems for the operator as when these deform the results are rather obvious, unless of course the area of concern is submerged at the time of inspection.

However, even in circumstances where deformation is obvious it is still very difficult to determine if the deformation has got worse over time. For example, if the fault was detected previously but not repaired, or if the client wishes for ongoing lifecycle monitoring to be carried out.

Inspection becomes particularly problematic when attempting to inspect fully charged or semi-charged pipe. Many faults may lie beneath the water level, beyond the CCTV unit's field of view, making accurate evaluation of the pipe's condition virtually impossible.

To address this problem recent advances in pipeline inspection technology have seen the development and refinement of sonar/ CCTV combined systems or CoSaC (Combined Sonar and CCTV) systems.

In conjunction with Telespec has pioneered the development of this state-of-the-art technology enabling the range of applications and degree of accuracy in adverse conditions to be enhanced dramatically.

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