Aquaspira Ltd, a leading pioneer of large-scale, composite steel-plastic drainage pipes and flood attenuation systems, has won the prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild award for ‘Inspiring Innovation, Cost-Saving and Efficiency for its SmartSense intelligent pipeline system. The award recognises innovation in the industry and is awarded to the best new idea for increasing efficiency and reducing costs in the pipeline sector.
SmartSense is the latest in Aquaspira’s expanding product range and is the result of a two-year research and innovation programme in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. The SmartSense concept is to develop the next generation of drainage pipe systems that incorporate a high proportion of recycled materials and have the latest in sensor technology embedded into the product. The result is a low-carbon pipeline system that is capable of monitoring and evaluating its own performance as well as the ground that surrounds it, including how it is installed.
Phillip Clisham, Technical Director and The Guild’s Communication Panel Chair, presented the award and said: “The world is changing fast and the whole industry is under pressure to reduce the carbon costs of the industry’s operations as well as the embedded carbon cost of the things that we build.
“This means that we are under pressure to use thinner-walled pipes which rely more heavily on the quality of their embedment for support whilst also being driven towards using selected as-dug material for pipe embedment, rather than importing ideal processed material. The combination means that the quality of construction is going to be more important than ever, particularly for large diameter pipes. AquaSpira’s approach is to develop a pipe that can tell you whether or not it has been installed properly.”
Dr Paul O’Regan, Technical Director of Aquaspira adds, “This is the driving concept behind our innovation. If we can monitor the long-term condition of both the pipe and the ground we can improve pipeline integrity, save maintenance costs and reduce the risk of having poorly installed systems – mitigating problems across the lifetime of the product.”
On receiving the award, Mr Neil Wallace, Managing Director of Aquaspira. "Innovation is at the heart of our business," said "We are thrilled to be presented with this award from the Guild. As a business, we have been working tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and provide innovative solutions to the industry - this award recognises that effort, enthusiasm and dedication of all of our staff.”