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Meeting the challenges of pipeline construction

Published by
World Pipelines,

The design and layout of pipelines is fraught with a variety of challenges, especially where pipelines are to be laid in areas of mountainous or hilly terrain.

The pipeline layout system was developed to meet the specific challenges of pipeline construction through a development partnership between AEP and CAD Schroer. The pipeline layout system is based on CAD Schroer’s flagship MEDUSA4 2D/3D CAD software. Various custom functions were added during the development process which led to great improvements in the field.

For example, GPS-based field survey data of the pipe corridor is used by MEDUSA4 to produce an accurate 3D terrain model of the pipe corridor to facilitate the pipeline layout process. The system enables AEP to achieve a 40% reduction in pipeline design time, a 30% reduction in the number of pipeline bends that have to be manufactured, and substantial reductions in waste material and overall project timescales.

The use of GPS-guided excavators together with accurate pipe bending ensures that the pipeline always fits the trench. The overall improvement in accuracy has also minimised the occurrence of corrective work onsite.

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