Innovative welding equipment and techniques for extended network documentation

Aug 25, 2015 10:00 AM

The main goal of grid owners is the reliable and secure water or gas supply of its customers. This can be achieved by the use of high-quality piping components, the proper installation and operation by qualified personnel.

GF services app

To ensure the water and gas supply, grid owners often maintain electronic welding protocols. They contain the welding parameters, product-specific data of the respective PE components (traceabillity code according to ISO 12176-4), details about the installer (installer badge according to ISO 12176-3) and additional information about the site, which is entered either manually or via barcode into the welding device. Mostly there is no further evidence about the installation quality. Also documentation after installation is missing and different documents will be stored in different systems.

But modern network documentation for PE pipings is not limited to the provision of electronic welding records accoring to standards. It claims to depict the entire life cycle of all components of a piping system from manufacturing to installation and operation. New technologies ensure the safe and central storage of the documentation whilst the information is available anytime and anywhere. Further data can be added in all project stages. The grid owner can extract analyses about the construction progress as well as the involved installation companies and used components. Welding records and pictures taken during installation are available as evidence for the quality.

Network documentation in connection with the “GF Trace App”

GF Piping Systems is using QR codes for quite some time to identify ELGEF electro fusion fittings. In the manufacturing process each fitting is provided with its individual QR code for unique identification. During production the record is provided with current and specific data. The code enables you to use “GF Trace App” on your smartphone. This service helps to secure the installation quality and support the documentation of the piping components. When using the new electro fusion devices of the MSA 4 family on site, the QR codes can be read with 2D scanners. The code contains – amongst others – the information about the trace and welding barcodes, both stored in the welding record.

With the “GF Trace App” on your smartphone you can match and save data to existing manufacturing information of specific QR codes: pictures, videos, site name, order number, welder ID, welding number and accurate GPS coordinates – everything deposited into the “GF Web T & A” (GF Web Tracking & Analysis) platform. The wireless scanner of the MSA 4.1 is an PDA and already prepared for the “GF Trace App”. Therefore smartphones are not required at the site.

The protocols extracted from the welding device are filtered, edited and transferred with an evaluation application to the ”GF Web T & A” data base by the installation company. According to the authorization a quality check or analysis of the components can be made during or shortly after installation on the web platform.

The “GF Web T & A” system is of course suitable for welding devices without 2D scanner. The protocol format CSV enables the import of protocols from competitive devices into the evaluation software. On the web platform unique QR codes can be generated for the identification of components that not yet have QR codes. This allows using the application as well for competitive or mechanical components such as valves. Thus, an extensive documentation for all components can be created in a consistent system. After installation the data set can be extended with results from pressure tests or protocols of non-destructive testings. Maintenance cycles for valves and fittings can be deposited in the system and simplify the network maintenance.

This application completes your network documentation, keeps it up to date and available online. Thus, grid owners can ensure the compliance with their specifications.


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Attila Albert

Attila Albert
Public Relations & Communication
Georg Fischer Piping Systems Ltd.
Ebnatstrasse 111
8201 Schaffhausen

attila dot albert #at# georgfischer dot com