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New Approach to Collection System Assessment & Management

RedZone Robotics has a new approach to collection system assessment and management.  Using robots equipped with multiple sensors, collection system inspections can combine conventional qualitative CCTV with synchronized laser and sonar dimension information all collected several times faster than conventional CCTV trucks.  This unique full 360° quantitative view of the pipeline can help to pinpoint which lines in your system require immediate attention due to issues with corrosion, sediment, and ovality.  Historically in critical large diameter trunks and interceptors, visual-only inspection often is unreliable and leaves decision-makers with the tough task of evaluating which pipes might appear to be deteriorating.  With costly rehab decisions at stake, wastewater managers need facts on corrosion severity, not just visual evidence of potential problems.

RedZone offers multiple robots for assessing various size pipes.  The Solo unmanned inspection robot, serving 8” to 12” lines, is a lightweight portable platform that can be carried by hand and deployed with multiple units (typically 4) in a leap frog like fashion for quick CCTV inspections.  The following video shows how easily the units are deployed.

The MSI Unit, HD Sonar Sub, HDProfiler System, and Responder offer multiple technologies such as CCTV, Laser, and Sonar profiling in conditions ranging from dry to fully surcharged pipes from 15” to 240”+.

The synchronized laser/sonar portion of a multi sensor inspection is the equivalent of CAT scanning your underground asset; each section can be displayed and measurements taken from the resulting profile. To see the benefits of this data in a real world example let’s look at data from two different 450 linear feet sections of 30” line.  In the images below we can see two CCTV images that show pipe that appears to be in similar condition.  Both show visual indications of corrosion.  With a rehab estimate of $150,000 each, what does a collection system manager do?  Replace both 450 linear feet sections?  Replace one?  Which one is worse?

Fortunately, we have multi sensor data to help answer these questions.

Our multi sensor data indicates that corrosion on sewer line A is less than 10% through the pipe wall thickness.  On the other hand corrosion on sewer line B is measured to be 90% through the pipe wall thickness and is an imminent risk for failure.  With this information a collection system manager can decide to save money now by continuing to monitor the integrity of sewer line A and issue a work order to rehab sewer line B now.

As intriguing as the robots are, the real win for the utility is the software that vividly presents findings on a color coded map.  What we’ve found with traditional collection system assessment services is that the utility managers and engineers are left with 3-ring binders full of findings but very difficult to review, sort and make decisions.  RedZone’s ICOM3 software is a GIS based system that presents areas of concern, easily sorts by priority, helps you determine point repair/slip line, etc., ranks by budget estimate and even kicks out work orders.  The theory is, assess first and faster, and then make better decisions on maintenance and structural issues.

While the robots are available for sale, the vast majority of customers have RedZone provide a service to come in and assess as much as they have budgeted, then use the management software.  Over time, more and more of the system is assessed and added to the software.  RedZone also offers a program where the city can assess the entire network and pay RedZone over a period of years; giving them much more information faster, and time to work it into their budgets.

To learn more about how RedZone Robotics’ approach to collection system assessment and management can benefit you in your application please contact us.


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