Latest water sector innovations showcased to 3M customers and specifiers
30 July 2012
More than 60 leading specifiers and maintenance engineers from the UK water sector attended an Innovation Day at diversified technology company 3M’s UK headquarters to discover more about the company’s approach to innovation and its latest developments for the sector.
Delegates discovered how innovation is at the core of 3M’s business ethos, with US$1.57 billion spent globally in 2011 on research and development, and a goal to have 40 per cent of sales coming from products that did not exist five years ago.
Among the guest speakers was Sandra Rolfe-Dickinson, technical director – pipeline engineering at MWH, who gave an overview of the limitations of traditional methods used to calculate the remaining life of potable water pipelines and introduced a new way of determining structural adequacy via a combined stress approach. Richard Christopher, MD of Whirlwind UK, a leading innovator in contract services for water pipe rehabilitation, also discussed the latest techniques for the application of protective coatings to the interior surfaces of small diameter service pipes.
Ryan Rogers and Dr Ryan Prince of 3M detailed the company’s current innovations in the area of lining technologies. The newest pipe rehabilitation product will see a UK launch later this year for BS EN ISO 11295: 2010 Class B and D applications and aims to significantly extend pipeline service life. The new product has undergone stringent testing at locations across the globe and will be suitable for a range of substrates including ductile iron, cast iron, steel and non-asphaltic cement mortar lined pipes.
Delegates also heard about two more current innovations – a new liquid metal based system for the rapid restoration of sunken or rocking access covers, and RFID markers which can be placed underground to aid the remote identification of the position of utility pipes and help reduce the estimated one million erroneous ‘dry digs’ currently undertaken each year in the UK. The RFID tags can also hold a range of information about material, installation and maintenance dates, to aid work scheduling.
Paul Woolvine, General Sales & Marketing Manager – Infrastructure Protection Products at 3M, commented: “3M’s success is built on our approach to innovating new product solutions to meet customer needs – whether those needs are identified directly by customers or by our own observations of their systems and processes.
“In uniquely challenging economic times, the management and maintenance of existing assets has never been more crucial to help ensure continuity and delivery of our water supply, and our focus is very much on the delivery of innovative and cost-effective solutions which allow maximum life and value to be extracted from these assets.
“The delegates were clearly impressed by what they saw and our focus on working in partnership with them to help meet both immediate requirements and longer-term obligations under current and future AMP agreements.”
The Scotchkote range of coatings from 3M have been established as rapid and effective solutions to water pipeline rehabilitation, and the range is to be extended further in the near future offering more controlled application, backed by a substantial data package.
For further information visit www.3M.co.uk/scotchkote
3M and Scotchkote are trademarks of 3M Company.