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iNPIPE PRODUCTS & Avove Partnership Wins Groundbreaking Award for Smart Air-Pigging Innovation

iNPIPE PRODUCTS & Avove Partnership Wins Groundbreaking Award for Smart Air-Pigging Innovation

A first-of-its-kind partnership between Avove and iNPIPE PRODUCTS has received a prestigious award for Groundbreaker of the Year at the Water Industry Awards 2024 for its innovation in cleaning large-scale water pipelines and protecting water companies’ assets.

This innovative partnership brings combined expertise for the cleaning, inspection and maintenance of pipelines using groundbreaking smart pigging technology, and delivers substantial sustainability and environmental benefits compared to the traditional cleaning methods. Smart air-pig technology delivers an efficient and effective cleaning method as well as reductions in CO2, time, cost, excavations, haul roads required and water used.

Avove and iNPIPE’s innovative and bespoke cleaning tools are designed and manufactured to pipeline cleaning specifications and water quality standards. The partnership’s unique smart air-pig technology is a safe and proven pipeline cleaning method that can be designed and manufactured to fit pipelines up to 3000mm in diameter and travel more than 6km through a pipeline at a time.

The judges chose the pioneering partnership over seven others from around the UK because of the innovative approach used by the engineering team.

Avove’s Executive Chair, Mark Perkins, said: “We’re immensely proud to partner with iNPIPE and to be recognised in this way. The smart air-pigging innovation we have delivered as part of the Vyrnwy Aqueduct Modernisation Programme was a world’s first and was literally a groundbreaking success.

“This has demonstrated to the industry that we have brought an innovative approach in the design and delivery of cleaning pipelines through air-pigging, bringing water quality compliance through the inspection, cleaning and maintenance of pipelines. This is a testament to how our teams of experts approach working with our clients to plan, design, construct and protect assets for the future whilst delivering water quality first.”

iNPIPE PRODUCTS’ Managing Director, Simon Bell, said: “We are incredibly honoured to receive the Groundbreaker Award for our smart air-pigging technology at the Water Industry Awards. This recognition underscores the strength of our partnership with Avove Utilities and our shared commitment to pioneering innovative, cost-effective solutions in the water industry. The successful deployment of this technology in the Vyrnwy Aqueduct Modernisation Programme is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our combined teams. We are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in water infrastructure and provide solutions that greatly reduced the carbon footprint when compared to existing methods in practice.”

The Water Industry Award is the second award that the smart air-pigging innovation has received in 2024, as the team has also been recognised at the Pipeline Industry Guild awards recently for the Large Diameter Pipeline Technology Award.

Avove’s Account Director, Greg Williams, said: “I am so proud of the team who have delivered the innovative design and ways of working we have brought to the forefront of the sector. Our team of expert designers collaborated with iNPIPE’s team to bring the design and manufacture of smart air-pig technology to a size and scale that has never been seen before in the water industry. Using this innovation, we are excited to work across the industry providing solutions that save time, cost and reduce both our and our client’s carbon footprint.”

Judges from the Water Industry Awards, said: “The winning project was described as a great achievement which could provide benefits across the sector. The judges said it was a real step forward in terms of asset management that could reduce water and carbon usage while enhancing supply resilience.”

The partnership’s smart air-pigging solution incorporates air-pigging and video technology and has been successfully applied to the cleaning of large water mains across UK projects – a global first for using smart pigging at this size and scale in the water industry. The air pigs have been designed to include full tracking, together with speed control features for improved visual inspection using integrated cameras and lighting to validate pipeline cleanliness.

Pigging Products and Services Association
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ISO9001 Quality Management certificate
ISO14001 Environmental Management Certificate
ISO45001 Health & Safety Management Certificate
ROSPA 2024 Gold Medal Award
Achilles Oil and Gas Europe Gold Award
North East England Chamber of Commerce
Constructionline Gold Member
SEQual member
European Desalination Society Member
International Desalination and Reuse Association (IDRA)

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