Jan 2017
Gas Distribution
Alternative PE joint preparation
NIA_WWU_043
Complete
Jan 2017
Apr 2017
Wales and West Utilities and Northern Gas Networks
WWU - Thomas James. NGN – Richard Hynes-Cooper
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Network Innovation Allowance
None
£27,600.00
The work scope is based around delivering a number of initial and basic prototypes in a relatively short space of time; it is believed that there will not be a ‘silver-bullet’ approach or technology to address the challenge, but that the solution will be built up from a number of different innovative options.

The Work Programme is detailed below:

0. Planning (Weeks 1 – 3) January

At the start of the work a 3 week period will be required in order to plan and make the necessary logistical arrangements for the project and workshops, including the recruitment of the workshop team from the GDNs. This will include site observation of work to understand conditions and physical restrictions on site, with a minimum of 6 teams undertaking electro-fusion jointing.

1. Understand (Week 4) February

The work would kick off with confirming the challenge and understanding the technical area through a 1 day workshop ideally with contributions from field operators and manufacturers. This will highlight the issues involved and allow for a landscape of the process to be achieved. Steer will also seek to mock up test tooling in the Research and Development workshop, replicating the problem. A review of current practices, legalisation, and preparation options will also be carried out during this task.

2. Create (Week 5) February

A further stakeholder day will be then spent sketching out potential solutions and ranking these as appropriate. The aim is to produce a significant number of possible options to be explored in the next work package (“Prototype”).

3. Prototype (Week 6) February/March

Steer will then take these concepts and trial (as appropriate) the solution, ideally building realistic – but basic - prototyping through its fast prototyping experience.

4. Validate (Week 7) March

A further session of the stakeholders will then be held, and the results of these prototypes will then be tested on the field operatives and manufacturers. This will allow the validation of the ideas with the real target ‘customers’.

5. Report (Week 8) March

A report of the work carried out will be issued following Week 7.

A report will be produced by the project partner Steer Energy Solutions Ltd detailing the conclusions of the project, along with basic prototypes. 

Success of the project will be a full assessment of the issues around PE pipe preparation for jointing, assessment of existing solutions for pipe preparation and the potential identification of new/improved methodologies and/or techniques for PE pipe preparation for jointing. This will be documented in a report to be produced by Steer Energy Solutions Ltd at the completion of the project.