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Innovating with ControlPoint’s BDI

Innovating with ControlPoint’s BDI

By In ControlPoint On October 18, 2013


ControlPoint presented the BDI machine to the board of judges at the respected Pipeline Industries Guild, Northern Branch, Innovation Day in October 2013.

United Utilities generously sponsored and hosted the event at Langley Mere headquarters.

ControlPoint are recognised for delivering high quality, innovative asset integrity solutions to the Gas and Water industry. These systems are currently targeted at the electrofusion market with a sole purpose of improving and providing full traceability and accountability of PE pipeline systems for asset owners.

The BDI is a bead testing machine which operates in a non-destructive manner by testing the external bead created by a butt fusion weld to give the operator an immediate and definitive ‘good’ or ‘bad’ result. The welding parameters are then coupled with the test results from the BDI along with the GPS location of the joint through an integrated RedBox telemetry device which sends the information in real time to an online secure web portal where the contractor can view and generate reports for complete asset traceability. These reports can then be submitted to the asset owner for quality control purposes and future referencing.

The BDI machine is targeted for the application of butt fusion and provides a cleverly calculated and regulated non-destructive testing procedure which is fully integrated into the butt fusion welding process.

There is a direct correlation between the integrity of the external bead created by the butt fusion welding process and the integrity of the joint interface. The BDI carries out a mechanical test on the external bead applying approx. 2.2tf to the bead attempting to split it over a cutting component. Splits are detected by an optical sensor and the on board computer returns a clearly defined ‘good’ or ‘bad’ test result.

The testing procedure is intended to replace the current ‘bend back test’ which is specified for water and gas joints. This test is currently flawed as result vary between operators.

Benefits Include:

  1. Fully integrated into the butt fusion welding process
  2. Test can be carried out by the operator, does not require a skilled testing authority
  3. Upto 90% of the bead length is tested
  4. Bead and split length recorded
  5. A calculated force is applied to the bead which will guarantee a joint failure if defects are present in the weld interface
  6. Immediate test results are generated after every weld
  7. All results are captured and documented in real time and on a secure server
  8. SMS/Email alerts can be sent to supervisors/managers notifying of failed joints

The introduction of the BDI machine was warmly welcomed by the panel and described as “a breath of fresh air to the gas and water industry”, as dated quality assurance techniques have plagued the industry for years.


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