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.


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