Tracking pipeline welds for future reference

[Johannesburg, 22 June 2018] In response to the growing need for GPS weld location traceability for high-end pipe installations, thermoplastic piping specialist, Plasti-Tech has launched Hürner’s new Whiteline series of welding units that can record GPS location of a weld within a buried pipeline for future reference in case of a weld failure.        

Hürner’s HST 300 Print+ 2.0 model of the Whiteline series is now available in the local market through thermoplastic piping specialist, Plasti-Tech. The new range – which covers all areas of application in electrofusion welding of PE, PP and PVDF pipes with heater coil fittings – takes electrofusion welding into a new era with its ability to not only trace who welded last, but also offer crucial GPS weld location traceability.

Brad Chamont, managing member of Plasti-Tech, explains that data logging capabilities of today’s welding units have only been able to address the issue of “who welded what, when and how?” With Hürner’s HST 300 Print+ 2.0, traceability has now been extended to answer the critical question of “where is the welded joint buried?” The range features a specifically developed, high-res GPS module that determines the coordinates with maximum precision of within 1 m and can be used in remote areas via satellite.

“GPS weld location is fast-becoming a requirement for all high-end pipe installations contracts and we needed to make sure that we could meet our clients’ demands,” explains Chamont. “Having an existing relationship with Hürner means that we are able to offer high-quality welding machines with new technologies to the local market.”

Chamont says it is very important to record GPS location of a weld within a buried pipeline for future reference if there is a weld failure. “With a GPS location on hand, one would know exactly where to excavate and repair the failed welded joint. Without GPS location, the whole pipeline would need to be excavated to find the failed weld, which is time-consuming and costly,” he says.

Hürner’s HST 300 Print+ 2.0 range is ideal for a wide range of applications, from jointing in the safety-sensitive area of gas networks, including accurate recording of geographic data, to jointing components with very small diameters, such as geothermal and sanitary fitting jobs, or very large diameters, for example, wastewater applications.

The HST 300 Print+ 2.0 range offers an intuitive data transfer menu that enables the download of all, or finely tuned selection of welding and traceability reports, as an abstract or extended report in PDF format, as a label printed by the optional label tag printer, or in the DataWork format sent to a PC.

The new generation 2.0 data loggers for welding reports also offer automation of component labelling, which previously called for manual use of marker pens. The data transfer menu allows for printing off a mini-summary of a selected welding report on a label tag printer. The abrasion-proof plastic tag is then simply affixed to the fitting or pipe.

Meanwhile, the standard versions of the Generation Whiteline welders come with a state-of-the-art, high-resolution, temperature range-extended character display. The novel GT keypad allows convenient input of all required parameters. The input is possible as you would use a traditional mobile device with a keypad. Another unique functionality is the ViewWeld feature, which enables browsing, viewing and checking the logged welding reports on the display screen of the welder, without any need to print the reports off.

Bearing in mind the advanced nature of this range of welders, Chamont says Plasti-Tech offers machine orientation training with the sale of every machine. To date, 25 units of the 14-model range are already operational in the local market.  In terms of price, the basic HST300 Junior + model costs in the range of R28 000, while the premium HST300 Print + retails at around R50 000.