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  • OEC wins Inova Infra 2022 award for most efficient pipe-laying method

    DATE: 03/24/2022

    Published by: OEC

    Robot equipped with a high-resolution camera performs internal weld checks

    The methodology implemented by OEC for the laying of carbon steel pipes at the construction site of the new Montes Claros supply system was the winning case for Inova Infra 2022 award in the Sanitation/Engineering Companies category. This is the third edition of the event and the second time that the construction company has submitted a work.

    The search for an innovative solution was motivated by the challenging deadline for the execution of the work provided for in the public notice: 12 months, including construction and the hydro-mechanical erection of all support structures. The original design provided by the customer had been planned using 28-inch and 24-inch cast iron pipes for a total length of 92.4 km. It would be unfeasible in the agreed upon time frame. We had to take the risk associated with replacing the material of the pipeline to carbon steel. Thus, the success of the proposal would depend basically on two factors: high productivity in the pipe welds and assurance of integral tightness in the welded joints.

    With the client’s approval for the conception presented, the team used innovation to achieve the set goal, moving from the traditional butt-welding process to the adoption of butt-strap welded joints, associated with the use of FlexSleeve gloves. The result was beyond expectations: the new methodology increased productivity by 28% and provided a 19% reduction in the cost of laying the pipes, surpassing the performance of conventional methods, which allowed the milestone of 1.27 km of pipeline laid in just one work shift to be reached.

    For Clébio Batista, the Agreement manager responsible for the project, this recognition demonstrates the maturity level of our teams, who proposed the change in the construction material believing that we would obtain satisfactory results, which, in fact, occurred. “We are very happy and increasingly enthusiastic about adding innovative processes to our activities,” he says.

    For Daniel Lepikson, responsible for Innovation at OEC, it is encouraging to see that OEC is increasingly attentive to disruptive possibilities that add value to our business and bring real benefits to our customers. “The construction industry still has a lot to develop, and successful innovative initiatives like this one are more than welcome to strengthen the culture of innovation at OEC, deliver more value to our customers and differentiate the company in winning new contracts,” he says.

    All the cases presented were evaluated by an independent jury, formed by representatives of Engineering and Infrastructure entities such as the Brazilian Association of Engineering Consultants (ABCE), Brazilian Association of Non-Destructive Technology (Abratt), Brasinfra, Sinaenco, Sinduscon-MG, and Sinicesp. The award ceremony will take place on April 19th, at the Brazilian British Center, in São Paulo. Some selected cases will be presented on the occasion.

    About the São Francisco System

    The new system foresees the capture of water from the São Francisco River through floating pumps and subsequent treatment in a Water Treatment Station (ETA) with a flow of 500 liters per second, in the city of Ibiaí. The treated water is then pumped through four Pumping Stations (EAT’s) equipped with five sets of motor pumps each, and conducted through carbon steel pipes for 92.4 km, passing through the towns of Coração de Jesus and São João da Lagoa. The water will be delivered to the Pacuí System, which is already operating, and will be distributed to the city of Montes Claros (MG). At the peak of its activities the project employed more than 600 people.

     

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