Key to the success of PE pipeline systems is the ability produce on site reliable fusion joints with a strength equivalent to the parent pipe materials with a minimum design life of 50 years. However, there is an ever increasing awareness that the technology and reliability is being undermined by operative workmanship in the field, posing a risk to the pipe network.
In order to reduce failures in service there is a need for increased training of installers, including tooling requirements and servicing of tooling. To develop maintain and monitor preventative actions which can help mitigate the incidence of failure.
In order to minimise fusion joint failure, it is considered a fundamental requirement that simple in field quality assurance and process control techniques are employed. Underpinning this approach must be a commitment to training to maintain competent levels of workmanship. Furthermore, there must be continual investment in equipment to ensure tooling is fit for purpose. Finally, the culture adopted by an organisation must drive behavioural change such that joint installers are self regulating and take ownership and responsibility for the quality of their workmanship