Using data to plug pipe assembly leaks

TorqueAssist captures installation data from Bluetooth-enabled torques, including gasket and bolt types and guides operators through the tightening process

Ovarro is displaying one of their latest technologies, the TorqueAssist at Asia Water 2022 on 7-9 Dec 2022.

TorqueAssist is a digital tool that captures installation data from Bluetooth-enabled torques, including gasket and bolt types, along with inputs on location and weather. Using a handheld device, technical operatives are asked a series of questions to guide them through the tightening process, providing instant, tangible records.

The TorqueAssist demonstrates how data capture can support practical, on-the-ground tasks — in this case, flange and mechanical joint assemblies using a torque wrench.

The captured data provides evidence of compliance, as well as key efficiency data to monitor the future needs of the infrastructure. All data is collated on Ovarro’s cloud-based JointManager platform. 

Completion of new water main installations is dependent on the pressure test to prove the pipe is watertight, but up to 30% of new pipelines fail their first pressure test, mostly due to weeps and leaks on mechanical joints and flanges.

Digital data-led technology is transforming leakage management, and maintaining momentum is one of the industry’s top priorities, as it continues its drive to cut leakage by at least 15% by 2025.

Innovative approaches are key to the delivery of these goals. As such, Ovarro has worked closely with several UK water utilities to develop remote leak detection technology, with a strong focus on data capture.

The technology was developed using feedback from the whole supply chain — gasket manufacturers, torque wrench manufacturers and end-users, who highlighted the need for a standardised approach to pipe assembly in the field.  These conversations also revealed the need for flange installation training, which is offered alongside the digital product. 

The training programme is endorsed by the Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR) and aims to improve knowledge of flange assembly, driving on-site best practice and quality assurance, all supported by TorqueAssist.

While training is aimed at contractors, it is in the utilities’ interest to specify tighter control over flange installations, which are a significant cause of leakage.

Alongside TorqueAssist, Ovarro will also be displaying Eureka5, a tablet-based leakage detection system released earlier this year, in Asia Water 2022.