At the forefront
At the Lanes Group, we have always prided ourselves on our reputation for being right at the cutting edge of technology in our field. We work closely with leading innovators to trial new products and source equipment from around the world — the better to do our job, the better to serve the needs of our customers, and the better to protect our employees. Despite the ups and downs of the UK economy, we have continued to invest in the best possible plant and machinery — and it shows.
At the time
Lanes was one of the first drainage contractors in the UK to adopt ‘no-dig’ when it was still a brand new technology for repairing drains and sewers. More recently we were the first to invest in revolutionary and sophisticated IBAK Panoramo camera equipment from Germany. But it doesn’t stop there. Here's some of the impressive, clever and, in many cases, pioneering technology we use:
Panoramo 3D Optoscanner
IBAK’s Panoramo Optoscanner is unlike standard pan and tilt remote cameras which are limited to recording only the data which the operator chooses to show and save. Instead, the Panoramo features an automated camera, which travels at an incredible 35cm per second recording a ‘panoramic’, 360º view of the inside of the pipe, sewer or drain. It means that not a single millimetre is missed in the saved data, which can be reviewed at any time later on a PC as if it were in real-time.
Developed by IBAK, the people responsible for the Panoramo, LISY sat cam is the newest camera technology for surveying and inspecting branch drains and sewers. Because it’s operated directly from the mainline sewer up each lateral connection, there’s no need to access each individual property. That means real time and cost savings, and is particularly important for the water companies since they took over responsibility for private sewers in October 2011. Lanes was first in the UK to offer LISY technology.
IBAK Panoramo SI
One of our very latest investments is yet another IBAK product: the Panoramo SI designed for the inspection of manholes of 300mm diameter and above. This 3D Optoscanner uses two high-res, digital cameras with distortion-free, wide-angle lenses to scan the whole manhole interior in just a few seconds. Travelling at a super-fast 35cm per second, the Panoramo SI records all the data in a single vertical pass through the chamber.
When it comes to mobile reporting systems, Lanes has pushed the boundaries of traditional technology yet again; this time with the user-friendly Digipen. The pen is used just like a regular writing implement but works through a mobile phone equipped with Bluetooth. It means that operatives can transmit handwritten data over the Internet, without needing a PC. Writing with the digital pen on sheets printed with the application’s special ‘pattern’ sends the engineers’ handwritten information to a PC, or server on the Internet, and automatically starts up a matching application which processes the information into the IT system. Simple, but very clever.
Within the rail industry, strict legislation and guidelines exist to keep the UK’s rail network moving, and Lanes' Rail Division plays a key role in this process — particularly in the capital, where we carry out critical projects for Transport for London (TfL). And that’s where G Rail comes in. Working with IT development partners in Australia, our Rail experts devised an IT system for maintaining the thousands of metres of drainage assets on the London Underground. The system allows the Rail team to plot asset data, plan maintenance work to strict annual time line requirements, and record and assess the information, so that they can allocate the necessary repair works to the right teams, at the right time.
KA-TE Lateral Cutter
As you might expect from an industry leader, Lanes has the most advanced robotic cutting tools for opening up lateral connections after a sewer has been relined. Each point where a branch line joins the relined sewer is plotted. Once the liner is cured, the robotic cutter simply opens up those connections again to restore the flow. But there are other uses too. These precise cutting tools are so effective that we have used them to cut and grind out a whole range of obstructions found in pipes and sewers — from steel piles which have been piled accidentally through sewers, to concrete, cement and other construction materials that have seeped into drainage systems. Even acrylics, resins, compacted brick dust and other production process materials that collect in pipes can be cut up into manageable pieces for removal using our KA-TE cutters.
We've even applied this clever technology to clearing obstructions caused by household items which have found their way into the drains too — including a Teletubby! Thanks to KA-TE, such items can be cut away quickly without the need for costly repairs: a real winner with householders and their insurance companies.
Profiler by Cleanflow
Profiler gives precise data on the ovality, capacity and internal conditions in pipes, drains and sewers, from 150mm to 600mm in diameter. It shows any variance from the given diameter of a pipe, so allows clients to calculate, accurately, a pipe’s current flow capacity. This WRc-approved system attaches to our standard remote control cameras, so that whilst the camera records the visual images, Profiler takes 1080 readings between the laser head and a laser ring which it projects onto the pipe wall, to give an incredible one million measurements every four minutes. And Profiler software creates this data detail in a variety of graph forms, to suit any engineering or design purpose. Once again, Lanes was one of the first to offer laser profiling in the UK.
Lanes: leading by innovation, not imitation.