Read how you can guarantee a successful field test of your pipeline, even if the project is implemented in the roughest possible terrain.
When you start a pipeline installation project, you will undoubtedly be bombarded with numerous questions. The pipe installation company will keep asking you to make certain decisions, while the final results will depend on your answers. But, do you know what these questions will be and how you will answer them? I will explain right away what I have in mind, so do not worry if you are slightly uncertain about what I am talking about.
Many companies initiate the projects without being aware of what lies ahead of them. They know the pipes are well-made, where the installation will take place, and who will install the pipes. What they do not know, is that they will be faced with difficult situations that need to be solved, and if the right solutions do not come up, the pipeline installation project may go wrong in terms of defects, leaks, delays, complaints and similar.
Let me explain what I mean with an example, so you can see what you can expect if you work alone and without a specialized and independent GRP pipe supervisor. Based on my experience, I can tell you that one of the first questions you will be faced with is the question of the backfill material.
Backfill material has to meet certain requirements to be classified as suitable. However, it is often the case that the material, which would meet all the requirements and thus be completely suitable, is hard to come by in the immediate vicinity of the project. Often, the contractors will ask you: “Can we utilize the material resulting from the excavation, although it does not fully comply with the specifications?”
And then, you may find yourself in a situation where the pipe manufacturer will suggest one answer to that question, while the contractor will suggest just the opposite answer, leaving it up to you to decide which one is the best. It is completely understandable that you may not have all the answers. You are managing the project and such specific questions should not be addressed to you. But unfortunately, the final decision will be critical for either the final economic result or for the pipeline performance. For example:
- if you could use the backfill but you do not decide on it, the cost of installation will be much higher.
- On the contrary, if you decide to use the backfill material and it turns out that it is not appropriate, the pipeline will not pass the field test and the consequences will be serious.
In all the years checking and correcting pipelines installation, I have come across yet another situation that causes many failures: the angular deflection. Stories related to this issue are always very similar. The pipe manufacturer specifies the allowed angular deflection for pipes of various diameters and sometimes, it happens that the requirements are not met.
Do you know what to say if the contractor asks you the following question: “The theoretical angular deflection is not met. Should I disassemble the pipe but not meet the deadline or leave it as it is?” As an answer to that question, have mostly observed the next 2 scenarios:
- I either saw the pipeline completely damaged while the contractor tried to correct the angular deflection, although it was not really needed (the task to correct the deflection is very difficult and may damage the pipe);
- or, the angular deflection was not corrected and the final result was a pipeline explosion.
But make no mistake. If you turn to the parties involved in the project for advice, you have to be aware, that each of them will act in their best interest. And so it happens, that the supervisors of each party will give you a different answer, leaving you completely confused as to what to do next.
Why does this happen?
This situation is very common because, during the process of buying the pipes or choosing the civil contractor, each provider gives you a lot of suggestions and guarantees of their services, but they do not tell you that. At certain points, they will not be the ones making the key decisions. However, there is a shortcut to a guaranteed success even if the project is technically demanding, far away from your office, and implemented in the roughest possible terrain.
What can you do?
If you continue reading this article, I will reveal how you can proceed and be at all times completely sure, that you are on the right track.
Right from the beginning, you have to include three milestones in your plan, which are:
- an audit of the pipeline project by an independent GRP specialized company;
- an examination of the GRP pipes prior to delivery and by a company that is specialized in the manufacturing technology;
- involvement of a GRP pipeline supervisor from the day the pipes arrive on site (the first audit is done during the unloading).
But take care with the supervision services!
The task that a GRP independent supervisor must accomplish is very demanding and it is not sufficient to only have a lot of experience and knowledge about GRP pipes and installation. The key to success is how the independent supervisor implements each small step that leads the project towards guaranteed success.
The correct way to proceed is to analyze the complete process, from the manufacturing tolerances to the handling, from the engineering project to the installation and tests, and only then make the first move. The biggest mistake? To get a supervisor that considers each stage separately.
When you get the right independent supervisor, you can finally relax. You will have time to focus on the big picture and develop a clear strategy of the next move. Your profits will start to soar, you will know exactly what to do next, and what your costs will be from day one onwards. In the end, you will know that the pipeline was installed properly, that there will not be any unexpected troubles and complaints, and that you will be able to move on to other projects.
Do you want a guaranteed success of your pipeline field test even if the project is implemented in the roughest possible terrain?
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