Cutting and Bevelling pipes on site in one operation saves time and cost

July 7, 2020

Laing O’Rourke has recently recruited Steve Vick International’s (SVI) Contract Service team to carry out crucial time saving cutting operations using the Keel Cutter as part of a major project to develop three wastewater treatment works in Lancashire.

The improvements at United Utilities Waste Water Treatment Works at Blackburn, Darwen and Nab’s Head, collectively known as the Blackburn Batch Project, involves the installation of 6m long sections of cement lined ductile iron pipes which are joined together. To allow for bends or tee piece connections, however, the pipes often need to be cut and re-bevelled.

The key benefit of using the Keel Cutter lies in its ability to cut and bevel in one operation. This is safer, faster and more cost effective than the alternative which is to cut the pipe with a hand-held tool and then manually bevel it using an angle grinder. Preparing the pipe off-site is not an option as the specific pipe lengths cannot easily be pre-determined.

SVI’s Contract Service technicians have recently been on site cutting and bevelling 700mm and 250mm diameter pipes using the company’s Keel Cutter. The team took just four days to complete a total of 37 cutting/bevelling operations. The four year scheme which began in 2017 will ensure that United Utilities can meet the needs of customers as communities grow.

SVI’s Keel Cutters are designed to cut automatically around the circumference of steel, ductile iron, cement, PE, and even asbestos pipes up to 1600mm in diameter. Using guide rings, the machine will also bevel ductile iron pipe in the same operation. The machines are manufactured by SVI in the UK and the company is the exclusive worldwide supplier.

The machines are powered by a hydraulic power pack enabling the blade to track automatically around the pipe wall at a cutting speed of approximately 140mm per minute. Only 250mm of clearance is required around the pipe which minimises excavation where pipes are already in the ground.

The work on the three wastewater treatment plants is being carried out for United Utilities by Laing O’Rourke. A spokesperson for the company said, “The Keel Cutting equipment combined with the expertise and knowledge of the Steve Vick International team, from the initial site survey through to the engineers producing the completed product on site , assisted us tremendously in completing this aspect of our works. Their professionalism and flexibility enabled a complex and precision task to be completed to the required standard safely, quickly and simply.”

Pipe cutting and bevelling is just one of many technical operations offered to customers across the utilities industry by SVI’s Contract Service. Keel Cutters are part of the company’s wide range of pipe cutting and cracking products many of which have been designed in-house as a solution to specific problems in the industry.

Keel Cutters are also available to hire or purchase together with a choice of blades for different types of material and a range of guide ring sizes.