Case Studies

First AMI Lateral Reinstatement Van Build Meets All Client Requirements

AM Industrial (UK) Ltd (AMI) is pleased to announce that it recently supplied a fully fitted lateral reinstatement vehicle to DALROD (UK) Ltd. The vehicle, based on a medium high roof Mercedes sprinter van, which was free-issued to AMI by DALROD having been pre-painted in the company’s standard colour, required bespoke installation of a new robotic cutter system and supporting CCTV pipeline inspection system. The design was finalised after careful consultation with the client.

This client consultation highlighted several requirements for the new van build that DALROD deemed particularly important. First, the finished vehicle needed to be totally self-sufficient out in the field. It was also important that the vehicle should not only work effectively for long periods but also allow the operators to work in total safety whilst achieving maximum productivity. To ensure that the vehicle met not only its operating requirements but also those of the crews that would be using it, the operators were given significant opportunity to influence the design during the design and build process. Furthermore, the vehicle had to be durable. This was achieved by lining the van with a robust speed lined coating that would last and which could be easily cleaned and maintained.

The vehicle also had to accommodate a full Dancutter robotic lateral re-opening system designed to operate in pipelines from 100 mm to 600 mm diameter. The cutter had been specially purchased by DALROD to support its existing and future pipe lining works, including a third party hire option that the company now offers. To this end the vehicle has not been liveried to DALROD just left in the company’s basic colour scheme. This also had to be able to be stored and operated alongside the AMI camera system that was also being installed as part of the van fit-out. The AMI CCTV equipment installed in the vehicle is designed to operate as a full survey system which will not only monitor the robotic cutter operation but also be able to complete both pre- and post-lining and reopening surveys. The CCTV control console unit can operate all AMI camera heads from the SP50 push rod camera for use in pipes from 100 mm diameter through to the SP100 Pan & Rotate camera for pipe sizes up to 600 mm diameter.

Storage for all ancillary and project support equipment as well as ongoing spares for onsite maintenance was also needed. DALROD also specified that, because of the requirement to work long hours on site, all ancillary items had to have a dedicated storage area which included custom-built cupboards and drawers for equipment right down to the last nut and bolt.

A rear surveillance camera was fitted so that operations and site area to the rear of the van can be fully observed and kept safe throughout the work process from the control station during works. An on-board back-up battery with a pure sine wave inverter was fitted to ensure that this camera equipment could work independently and allow a low voltage LED safety flood lighting system to be installed to cover the work area.

Of course, having the robotic cutter and the CCTV system on-board meant that relevant power sources were also necessary. This was achieved by installing an on-board generator which also required a fume extraction system. Also fitted was an on-board compressor with both heat and fume extraction systems. To minimise the noise output from the vehicle that might be created when utilising these power systems, the compressor/generator compartment was noise insulated.

Mike Pollard of DALROD (Cambridge) said of the new vehicle: “We think this totally self-contained lateral reinstatement vehicle is probably one of the most practical and cost-effective currently in use in the UK marketplace. Once commissioned it has had to perform and deliver high productivity. So during the build process one of the major design drivers was that everything was right whatever the cost. This we think we have achieved most successfully.”

Arthur Jones, operations Director for AMI, who was responsible for overseeing the build process said: “AMI was pleased to be awarded the project by DALROD. AMI has delivered several purpose built survey vehicles but this was the first lateral reinstatement vehicle that we have been called upon to provide. We were also pleased that the vehicle was delivered on time whilst still fully meeting the very high specification required by DALROD.”

The vehicle was custom-built at AMI’s Manchester facility and during the build process DALROD was kept fully informed on a weekly basis by way of a progress report and stage photographs.

According to Mike Pollard, since commissioning, the vehicle has been in constant operation and as a company DALROD has been very pleased with the vehicle’s performance. The vehicle will also be on show at the forthcoming dt Exhibition in September and is currently available for hire from DALROD.

The control station in DALROD’s new specially designed Lateral reinstatement van.

The ‘business end of the new van showing the compressor and generator used to power the lateral cutting robot.

The new van in action on site.



New Mainline Survey System Compliments Existing Pipe Inspection Technology

AM Industrial (UK) Ltd (AMI) recently supplied a new Mainline pipeline inspection survey van system to Upstream Pipeline Services Ltd of Creech St Michael, Near Taunton, Somerset, UK.

Established in August 1999, Upstream Pipeline Services Ltd (UPSL) carries out work for a wide variety of clients including the Highways Agency, various Water Companies, the Environment Agency, Local Councils, Engineering Consultants and Building Companies across the U.K.

Commenting on the purchase of the new survey van, Steve Parsons, managing director of Upstream Pipeline Services said: “The new van will compliment our current fleet. The full mainline unit with its Pan & Rotate camera and spare 50 m link cable, now gives us the capability of surveying both large and small diameter pipes with just a simple wheel change on the camera crawler.” When asked why UPSL chose the AM Industrial system from those available on the market Steve went on to say: “In looking at the systems available to us we found the AMI kit was not only competitively priced but also easy to use, portable and quick to set up. The all round service package was also a bonus.”

The AMI equipment chosen by UPSL comprised:

  • A Mainline Desk top Control console with a Docking station for the Panasonic tough book and Mpeg 4 digital encoder
  • An SP100 Pan & Rotate camera with twin integral LED lamps for use in pipe diameters from 150 mm along with auxiliary high powered LED twin lights which allow the system to operate in pipe diameters up to 1,200 mm
  • An SP150 Midi crawler with a full range of wheels and a jack up gantry for use in pipes from 150 mm to 1,200 mm diameter
  • An SP heavy duty Kevlar-reinforced camera control cable with a length of 250 m
  • An SP50 Pushrod coiler with 60 m of semi rigid rod and an auto uprighting colour camera

All of this equipment has been fitted into a completely customised vehicle based on a Ford Transit chassis.
Upstream contacted AMI with a specific requirement for the new survey vehicle. This was that the mainline control unit had to be one that could operate with a whole range of crawlers including the SP75 Mincam crawler, the SP150 Midi Crawler and the SP300 Mainline Crawler. The cross-compatible control unit was built into a strong portable flight case and recessed into the worktop for van dedicated use but with a design that also allows quick and easy removal to deploy the unit as a portable inspection system which could for example be put into a 4x4 etc. According to Martin Woods, director of AMI: “Flexibility of the system was key to Upstream’s requirements and they did not want to be confined to equipment that was fixed permanently into a single survey vehicle, as with a rack mount type system.”

The Panasonic tough book computer, preloaded with WinCanV8 mobile reporting software, was selected as the most ruggedised PC platform and one that was suited to both vehicle and portable use. Survey images and data are stored on the hard drive through the Mpeg digital encoder, which operates through a high quality touch screen monitor. The vehicle and equipment is also supplied ready to accept a P1512 Sonar underwater pipe profiler system.

The pushrod equipment included in the package is designed for small diameter pipe of 100 to 150mm. It comes with extra long link cable which allows the pushrod to operate at up to 50 m from the control unit.

Steve Parsons went on to say that as well as offering generic parts, competitive parts pricing, a broad industry knowledge, an excellent service package and a complete van fit out, a main factor behind the selection of the AMI solution was the colour. “Due to the nature of the work we carry out on the highways network the highly visible yellow shows up well in the van which will add to the safety of the work team as well as the general public. I would fine it hard to believe that anyone would be unable see the top manhole roller, which again is yellow, and also covers the entrance to the manhole. All in all I think the package is very good.” he said.

The demountable control unit allows for remote operations off the new AM Industrial Ltd survey van.

Both mainline and rod camera systems are easily accessible from the back of the survey van.

Setting up for a pipeline survey with the mainline camera system.

Upstream managing director Steve Parsons (right) and technical director Guy Robinson (left) with the New AM Industrial supplied and fitted survey van.


New Pipeline Survey Van Expands Inspection Capability

AM Industrial (UK) Ltd (AMI) recently supplied a new CCTV pipeline inspection/survey van system to General Utilities Northwest Ltd (GUN).

Since its establishment in January 2008, Manchester-based GUN, an independently owned and thriving business, has in its relatively short existence developed a reputation for its personal and professional services, through its fully qualified and experienced staff and field operatives. The company offers contracting services across all aspects of the sewer industry including drainage investigation, sewer cleaning, CCTV surveys, man entry surveys, sonar tracing, groundwork, pipeline construction and repair as well as CIPP rehabilitation techniques and manhole rehabilitation, as well as operator training courses. In respect of the addition of the new CCTV survey van to the company’s fleet, CCTV surveys comprise something around 25% of the company’s total business.

Operating across North West and North East England, the Midlands, North Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire, Steve Harley, Technical Director for GUN said: “The reasoning behind the acquisition of the new CCTV survey kit was to enable us to meet both present and predicted future demands for CCTV survey services across our new business, continuing referrals and repeat business clients.”
When questioned as to why the AM Industrial systems were selected from those currently available on the market Steve went on to say: “We have other systems in our fleet but after careful consideration of the market we decided that the AMI systems offered several advantages over others. These advantages include value for money and availability. However, for us one of the most important aspects in selecting any kit is after sales service, a part of this deal in which AMI offers more than most. Their engineers are always ready to help and advise and offer replacement equipment during repairs or servicing. The out-of-hours assistance and repair service is also invaluable.”

To ensure that the single CCTV van unit has the capacity to cover a wide range of pipeline inspection applications, two camera systems have been selected and installed in the new van.

The first system is the SP100 - Pan and Rotate colour camera with integral twin LED lights which is designed for use in pipes from 150 mm diameter upwards. This is mounted on an SP150 - Midi Crawler which comes with various wheel sets including stainless steel, aluminium and pneumatic tyre sets which allow operation in pipe diameters from 150 mm diameter upwards even in higher level silt and debris conditions.

Control and operation of this camera system is achieved using an SP200CD - Midi slip ring cable drum, which also has an electronic meterage counter and comes with 200 m of Kevlar reinforced camera control cable.

The operator undertakes the survey using an SP252 - Desk Top Camera Control Console which controls forward and reverse speeds, the variable lighting capability of the unit and camera rotation, pan and focus. The computer power behind the data and picture acquisition is achieved using an integral Panasonic CF31 tough book, which is mounted via the docking station on the control console and comes with full touch screen 13.3 XGA display, 160GB hard drive and built-in Broadband.

The new equipment range is also extended with the inclusion of an SP35LH - Adjustable Twin 35W light-head which can be mounting onto the crawler for use with the SP100 camera in pipes of 225 mm diameter above. An SPG900 - Clamp also allows the SP100 camera to be used in conjunction with a parallel gantry on the crawler.

The All-LED lighting used by AMI’s camera systems also adds to the environmental credentials of the equipment in that they are all designed to have low energy consumption which means lights can now run on batteries using the vehicle-mounted inverter, so no generator is needed.

Data and survey results are managed and reports generated using the very latest industry standard Wincan V8 software reporting tool. This Total Solution software allows for quicker data handing and report generation, minimising the lead time between survey and report handover to the client. Data is stored directly to the system hard drive and burning to CD or DVD is very quick and efficient, allowing all the reporting work to be completed at site.

The van is also equipped with a Push rod camera with 60 m of semi rigid cable for smaller diameter (100 mm to 150 mm diameter), shorter length pipe inspections. The camera is a self-up-righting colour camera and comes with an electronic hub counter.
In terms of the survey van itself, the survey systems have been mounted in a Renault Master Van MM35 medium wheel base, medium roof chassis. The van meets the latest Euro 5 specifications and environmental targets making it a very economical, compact, and high-spec van which, in the UK, carries low road tax and produces low emissions with low fuel consumption. All this makes the vehicle very eco-friendly and a very cost effective survey and turn key solution unit, often a major consideration given increasing client emphasis on carbon reduction targets within in their businesses. Whilst this is the van type used for the GUN system, AMI can customise any van type of client choice to carry the necessary survey systems chosen.

Commenting on the GUN purchase for AM Industrial company director Arthur Jones said: “We are very pleased to have been able to provide GUN with the CCTV equipment and service back-up it needs to expand its survey operations to meet current and future requirements. The use of the self-contained, multi-purpose van set has become increasingly popular amongst drainage contractors as it enables a very wide scope of work to be undertaken with a single vehicle. In working together with GUN to design this new CCTV system to meet the company’s requirements it now means they will have everything to hand as and when needed whatever the scope of work. It also means that, should our support services be needed, our back-up, service and repair regime will be able to respond quickly and effectively knowing what the unit carries to ensure minimum downtime on surveys, a major step towards maximum efficiency and comparatively low ongoing cost of ownership in today’s highly competitive survey market.”

Arthur went on to say: “Currently we have in-build another CCTV demonstration unit which is being constructed to the same high-spec as that used for the GUN system. This van will be available for site demonstrations by the end of February 2011. We also have on order an additional vehicle, based on the same Renault Master van, which will be customised as a van pack Jetter/Inspection vehicle combination. The combo system will be available for site demonstrations by the end of March 2011.”

The General Utilities Northwest Ltd (GUN) headquarters showing the range of vehicles, equipment and services on offer through the company.

The new CCTV van purchased from AM Industrial Ltd expands the existing pipeline inspection capacity at GUN.

A view of the camera systems mounted in the new survey van.
A view of the operators work station (studio) inside the new survey van.


Taking UK Manufactured CCTV Systems Global

AM Industrial (UK) Ltd (AMI) was founded in 2006 by Arthur Jones, formerly Northern Service manager for UK CCTV systems manufacturer Telespec Ltd.

Arthur has gathered a vast knowledge over more than 20 years in the pipe inspection industry having undertaken activities from operating a CCTV rig for Avec in the 80s to performing a prestigious role as operations Director for well-known Warrington-based contractor General Underground Services. These roles meant that Arthur was well placed to launch his own technical support company.

AMI started out initially as a much needed technical support facility based in the UK’s Northwest. This was followed by the opening of a new division, AMI Southern in Surrey which heralded the opening a new much needed manufacturing facility. This facility enabled AMI to launch its own range of in-house designed and built, cost effective pipe inspection solutions.

The initial response to AMI’s products and services was overwhelming and in order to manage the workload AMI’s management structure was expanded with the appointment of Martin Woods formerly Sales director of Telespec Ltd joining the team.

According to Arthur Jones: “Pooling our joint experience of many years has enabled Martin and I to position the company so that we are now well placed to become a prominent player in the industry, both domestically and globally.”

The company recently relocated the Northern offices to a purpose-built site on the Woodrow industrial estate in Irlam, Manchester. This move will allow further expansion of the company’s technical support operations which will be coupled with the planned move in 2009 of the Southern Offices to a new manufacturing site. The manufacturing facility will enable a more streamlined approach to production to meet the ever-increasing demand for the AMI’s products.

Arthur went on to say: “We are proud to have formed a business that is a ‘true British thoroughbred’ that successfully develops and manufactures its products here in the UK. The UK has seen some truly high quality, innovative inspection products from central Europe being marketed successfully by appointed distributors. Whilst our products may not be deemed by some as innovative they do perform in both reliability and picture quality with proven comparatively, low ongoing cost of ownership and operation, which in the current climate is as important as innovation.”

Also, whilst being proud to be a British manufacturer, the company is also putting considerable input into the British economy with around 60% of its current production going to export into some 14 different countries worldwide.

Recent appointments of several new overseas business partners including: T&I Avenue (M) SDN.BHD for the Asia Pacific region, Pamtec Enviro for India and GSN Technologies Inc for distribution in North and South America only enhances the commitment of the company to the global distribution of its products. The current level of response to AMI’s products indicates an even better export growth year for 2009.

Commenting on the company’s growth Martin Woods said: “The main priority over the past two years has been the development and refining of the product lines to provide the highest standard possible in quality, reliability and cost effectiveness in the target markets. So, over this time the company has been fairly low profile in marketing its products and services. Now fully prepared, the time is right to properly launch our tried and tested product range. We have already supplied more than 60 of our SP100 Pan&Rotate cameras across the globe and customer feed back has been so positive we now have every confidence to proceed at full steam and increase our manufacturing quantities to meet the increasing demand for our products.”

AMI knows only to well how supply companies can often be so successful in growing their customer base to such an extent that the technical support falls short of customer expectations. Martin Woods explained: “We have already started to strengthen our service coverage by recruiting two additional service engineers to maintain the already rapid response time at both our Northwest and Southern service centres. As part of the next stage of corporate development the company is seeking to recruit a production manager to coincide with the impending move of the southern manufacturing facility later this year.

Having previously exhibited the AMI product range at the No Dig Live event in 2008, the response was well beyond expectation and new business has accrued as a direct result of the show. No-Dig Live was AMI’s first ever exhibition and because the products were so well received by so many potential customers the company has no hesitation in taking part in future industry related exhibitions throughout 2009. To further enhance its marketing campaign for 2009, AMI has started work on a totally new and much more informative website which is due to go live in April. This will also allow valued customers to purchase spares and accessories on line.

AMI now manufactures a wide range of pipeline inspection solutions including:

  • SP50 Pushrod system for use in 100/150 mm diameter pipes
  • SP75 MiniCam crawler system for use in 100/300 mm diameter pipes
  • SP100 Pan&Rotate camera
  • SP150 Midi Crawler  system for use in 150/1,000 mm diameter pipes
  • SP300Z Mainline crawler system with Zoom for use in 300/2,000 mm diameter pipes

To compliment the range AMI is also the sole UK distributor for the Pipe Profiling Sonar (Model 1512USB) manufactured by Marine Electronics Ltd. The Model 1512 Pipe Profiling Sonar provides an acoustic method for profiling the interiors of liquid filled pipes or boreholes. This method does not require draining of the pipes as with camera surveys and provides accurate quantified data. The equipment comprises an underwater Scanning Unit (which may be skid, float, tractor or ROV mounted) and a compact USB interface unit. To complete the system a ‘Windows’ P.C. with a USB port is required to run the 1512 system software.

As a complete turnkey solutions provider AMI is also an Authorised reseller of the industry standard Wincan pipe defect reporting software with the pending launch of its integrated control system via a ‘ruggedised’ laptop with preloaded Wincan mobile software. Customised in house van fit-out is also scheduled to begin later in the year.

So to summarise, AM industrial can now offer a complete range of products to meet almost any inspection requirement. Not confined to just the water and waste pipeline sectors, AMI’s products lend themselves to other applications including boreholes chimneys, flues and non-destructive testing situations.


The AMI mid-range/mainline crawler unit fitted with an SP100 Pan & Rotate camera.

An AMI mini cable drum with an integral 150 m of cable.
The Minicam crawler unit for smaller diameter pipes.


The SP50 Push Rod camera system.

An SP150 Crawler unit fitted with a forward view LED Camera.
The SP252 Control unit.


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