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How to verify that the correct assembly procedures have been followed?

2021/08/23


Traceability is an integral part of modern, sophisticated, Quality Assurance systems used for PE pipe networks. The systems available, and mandatory at many end-users, enable tracing through the whole process, from the resin batch at the PE producer, through pipe extrusion, the utility company and the installation contractor's operations. All installations can be traced back to the resin batch from which they were produced, with full data on the history of the pipe or fitting at any location.

The most up-to-date traceability systems are based on the use of barcodes. The barcodes can record data covering:

fusion-jointing equipment data

fusion-jointing equipment operator data

site data (geographical location)

data on fittings and pipes

fusion-jointing parameters

installation dates

assembly procedures

This information on the barcodes can be affixed to the pipes and fittings insite, and recorded in a database, ideally linked to a Geographical Information System (GIS). At any subsequent excavation or operation the barcode can be read and all data on the pipes and fittings concerned can be accessed. Similarly in planning operations and works the data is readily accessible from the GIS or database.

ISO 12176 Part 4 defines a traceability system for encoding the characteristics of the pipes, fittings, fusion-jointing equipment, fusion-jointing equipment operators and fusion-jointing protocols. It is applicable to PE pipes, fittings and valves conforming to ISO standards for gas supply piping systems and also to the assembly operation utilizing methods such butt, socket and saddle fusion, electrofusion, induction fusion and mechanical jointing.