Dec 2015
Gas Distribution
Rapid Steel Pipe Cutter
Dec 2015
Oct 2016
Wales and West Utilities
Paul Breakey - Technical Engineering Manager. Contact on :
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Network Innovation Allowance
This project will design and develop a prototype tool that will be tested thoroughly through onsite trials & further development, specifically:
  • Design and develop a cutter to allow the removal of a window from a steel main that has been inserted with PE. It is assumed that the existing ductile window cutter design will be used as a starting point with a focus on two key areas for modification; the air powered motor and blade system;
  • Develop a working prototype and carry out off site testing in the order of 20-30 operations;
  • Carry out at least 10 onsite trials to review the solution with field operatives; and
  • Recommend any necessary modifications

This tool needs to be simple and safe to use and be able to work within a typical service excavation without requiring additional cost excavating or damaging other utility apparatus.

The objective of the project is to develop a tool that is able to cut a window in steel mains up to a thickness of 9mm.  The tool  must be:
•    A simple tool that can be used effectively by trained staff and not require a specific licence to operate; 
•    A safe non-sparking technique;
•    A compact tool suitable for small, shallow excavations; and
•    Cost effective and able to move to commercial production 

The tool will be developed to deliver benefits such as cost savings when compared to current available techniques for replacement of steel mains, customer benefits through quicker, faster replacement of mains and environmental benefits with less digging up and wastage when this tool is used.

To produce a hand held window cutting tool that has been tested in the field and that is at a stage to be transferred to business as usual for all networks advantage.