Mar 31, 2010

PPIC Completes Research and Development Center Expansion

New Center of Excellence focused on solutions for aging water pipeline infrastructure

As cities around the world continue to look for sustainable approaches to manage aging water infrastructure challenges, the Pressure Pipe Inspection Co., Ltd., (PPIC) has reinforced its aim to provide advanced solutions for the cost-effective renewal of aging water and wastewater pipelines with the expansion of its research center.

As part of a multi-million-dollar program, the expanded Center of Excellence will be used to test and advance condition assessment solutions for a variety of large diameter pipe materials. At the heart of the expanded facility is a 2,400-gal metallic pipe testing platform that can simulate typical conditions found in functioning transmission mains.

In addition to new technology development, the facility will also be used for the PPIC Operator Training and Certification Program. Under the program, field technicians and utility staff undergo an intensive training period prior to real-life application of the technologies to help ensure the most accurate inspection results.

“PPIC is committed to developing world-class solutions to help cities around the world understand the true condition of their pipelines,” said Dr. Brian Mergelas, president and CEO, PPIC. “Our business is growing rapidly. By expanding this facility, we have a strategic platform to work with government agencies, water utilities, universities and partners to bring new solutions to the market.”

Pipeline assessment technologies such as PipeDiver and Sahara provide utilities with information about the condition of their transmission mains by identifying structurally weak areas. Strategic condition assessment programs help cities to identify where capital investments can be made with the most impact per dollar to reduce risk while extending the operating life of the pipeline.

PPIC research initiatives have led to the commercialization of several solutions, the company said, including:
• A free-swimming electromagnetic tool for the inspection of in-service, large diameter water transmission lines;
• A robotic electromagnetic inspection tool for the inspection of depressurized pre-stressed concrete cylinder lines;
• An in-line inspection tool to detect leaks and gas pockets within operating sewer force mains; and
• A long distance live video inspection system for pressurized water lines.