PREDIRE pipework inspection system, the result of a successful partnership between SARP and CEA-List, makes maintenance more efficient and cost-effective

PREDIRE : drone léger d’inspection de canalisations
Crédit : Cyrille DUPONT/CEA (Dupont Productions)
Veolia subsidiary SARP, which provides pipework maintenance services to public-sector customers, needed an affordable inspection solution to make sure that cleaning with heavy equipment like high-pressure pumps is only done when necessary.

CEA-List came up with the PREDIRE inspection system after being contacted by SARP for a solution in 2014. The smart wireless crawling drone is the ideal addition to the conventional—and more limited—video inspection techniques that have been used for a decade. The drone can autonomously navigate over muddy, greasy, and sandy surfaces and crawl over obstacles.

Images are captured every ten seconds to gather the data used to assess cleaning needs, for more effective and economical preventive maintenance.

The first version of the system, the D200, was developed for small-diameter (200 mm to 250 mm) pipes, which represent 70% of the total network length. A “big brother” was subsequently developed for 300 mm to 400 mm pipes, increasing the range of pipework addressable by the solution.

New PREDIRE lineup ready for international markets

A total of ten SARP locations across France will be using more than 50 PREDIRE systems by 2023. The product currently in use in France is a V5 resulting from an exhaustive maturation and scaleup process. SARP is now considering taking PREDIRE to international markets.

The first export market could be Japan, where another Veolia subsidiary, FSI, recently tested the PREDIRE D200 inspection system with several local government agencies on 30 m and 40 m lengths of 200 mm pipework.

The purpose of the tests is to determine what advantages the technology can bring when used in addition to the conventional video inspection and cleaning process.

FSI was completely satisfied with the tests. FSI operators and customers particularly appreciated the PREDIRE D200’s ability to navigate any terrain and crawl over obstacles, its compact size, and its ease of deployment compared to their current tools.

FSI plans to purchase several PREDIRE D200 units for its routine operations in several Japanese cities between 2023 and 2025.

Next: a new model of the PREDIRE system

As the current PREDIRE lineup continues to gain traction, a new challenge has emerged to meet Australia’s need for a smaller version of the system to inspect 150 mm pipes. But making the system smaller does present some new technical hurdles to overcome. CEA-List and SARP will be working together again, this time with Veolia Australia, to do just that.