The Wessex Water team, which pioneered the repair of robotic ducts, was recognized with the South West Institute of Water Innovation Award 2019.
Inspired by human cardiac surgery, the robotic machine was specially designed and manufactured to reshape sewer pipes 150mm in diameter that have suffered up to 25% deformation.
The technology enables safer and cheaper sewer repairs without digging or digging.
Julian Britton, Program Manager for Wessex Sewer Rehabilitation, said, “Typically we want to repair pipes with a resin liner that has been cured by heat or light.
“However, these liners become less effective when a sewer has more than 10% deformation.
“This new robot called ‘Re-Rounder’ repairs the pipe in its original shape and then leaves a metal stent behind to ensure the structural integrity of the pipe, which we can then line over.”
The metal stent is specially designed to be thin enough not to interfere with the flow in the tube. The inspiration comes from stents, which are used in medicine to hold the arteries open.
After a two-year development and test phase, the Re-Rounder is now in use across the entire Wessex Water network.