Trenchlesspedia recently attended NASTT’s first annual No-Dig North Show 2019 in Calgary, AB. One of the biggest rewards from attending these shows tends to be the quality face-to-face time that we spend with active industry colleagues and customers.
There’s so many invaluable conversations that take place to learn more about innovative products, emerging trenchless methods, and better understand where they envision the industry is heading in both the near and distant future. (Read How These Top Geotechnical Investigation Trends Are Shaping the Future of Trenchless Technology.)
There was a lot of great feedback and expert insight from the trenchless minds we spoke to.
From all the many trenchless industry professionals and engineers we met, we had one key question for them all: What is a key area of growth for trenchless construction or rehabilitation in North America?
Here are some of their best insights.
Sliplining in the GTA
Improving Education on Trenchless Rehabilitation Methods
Nowadays, one of the biggest issues to educate engineers and those involved in trenchless technology about new methods. Back home in Scandinavia, we have 20+ years experience with down-the-hole hammer drilling, but here in North America, this method is completely new to a lot of engineers.
So, one of our biggest challenges is to educate on how to solve difficult situations. In that way, we can improve the use of trenchless systems in hard ground condition areas. (Read The Right Drill Bit for Soft, Medium & Hard Ground Conditions.)
Bring the trenchless technology world into the digital age
Spira Data is looking to bring the trenchless technology world into the digital age with our field operations platform. We're looking to expand and work with organizations who want to reduce their day sales outstanding, while providing their employees with a simple and efficient way of tracking their time and billable activities. We're really excited to be here at the No-Dig North show!
Environmentally-Friendly Waste Management Innovations
There’s a growing number of trenchless activity across North America, and it’s calling for innovative ways to manage the waste streams coming out of these projects. I’m hoping that there’s going to be a significant amount of innovation required to deal with slurries in a variety of ways that’s environmentally friendly and economically viable for these projects.
Educating the public on the benefits of pipeline installation and rehabilitation
I think one of the biggest things right now that should be pushed in the trenchless industry is education. And it’s not just about education within the industry, but also with the public. When compared to 40-50 years ago when pipelines were first being put in, the big thing we’re seeing now is the advancement in engineering, environmental care, and safety standards.
These pipes that we’re now putting into the ground are significantly more advanced, safer and more reliable than ever before.
If we can educate the public masses on these points, people will understand that pipelines are still the safest delivery method and we should be putting them in and replacing the aging infrastructure.
Large diameter pipe rehabilitation and cleaning
The way I see it right now, large diameter pipe rehabilitation and cleaning are going to be critical steps moving forward. A lot of work gets done on the small lines, but once you get to the trunk sewer lines, the consequences of failure are so great that I think more attention needs to be focused on the trunk lines, and more rehab needs to be focused on those existing lines in the ground, both for cleaning and maintenance, and also inspection for further rehabilitation.
Clients value the advantages of HDD over open-cut methods
We’re seeing a lot more jobs go horizontal directional drilling (HDD) as opposed to open-cut. We’re seeing clients really value the advantages of directional drilling over open-cut with the idea that there’s less disturbance to stakeholders.
Ryan Leppke, Pidherney’s Inc.
Educating municipalities on trenchless solutions
A key area of growth is the education of our customers, especially the municipalities and consulting engineers to look at trenchless solutions as an alternative and a more economical option, and as a better use of tax dollars.
Knowing the key differences between wireline steering tools, and the advantages of using a gyro
I think it would be great if everyone would know the key differences between steering methods and equipment. Everyone should know the advantages of using a gyro, and the advantages of using it for the end clients.
The legal directors normally know the differences, but the engineering companies and the end clients, the gas and oil companies, and the electrician companies...they should know the differences between available equipment, I think that’s important for us that everybody knows what’s available in the market.
Underground utilities and structures
So what I’ve seen over the past couple of years, the multi-condition and position assessment and location of all underground utilities and structures.
Water purification is a huge reclamation of being able to reuse your water instead of dumping it or wasting it. It’s a big important aspect of where we’re moving towards in the future.
Devon Walsh, Pure Environmental Solutions
Smaller footprint technology
As infrastructure ages in our cities and municipalities, and as our cities get more congested, the focus on having smaller carbon footprint technology in all areas, especially in HDD and microtunneling, getting those projects done sooner with limited impact to the community and environment.
It’s just really about focusing on the technology to complete these projects as efficiently as possible to rehabilitate the structure and install new infrastructure within cities and communities. And along with all of that there’s going to be a a lot of education involved to inform all stakeholders involved.