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.


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