An efficient and user-friendly testing solution

Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) manufactures chemicals and polymers that the world needs. Starting from the basic molecule, they make sure that the materials meet the highest standards for the intended end-use applications. In their pipe pressure testing facility in Bartlesville, OK, they currently have 1,100 hydrostatic pressure stations. With the new solution from IPT and Pipeson they can monitor the tests in real time, ensuring an efficient process and easy status updates for customers.

As the business and scope of CPChem’s projects for the development of pipe resins grew, it became increasingly obvious that the process of generating, collecting and transferring data manually was inefficient. Following a thorough market research process, CPChem decided to invest in a solution from IPT and to complement the current Pipeson Analyzer solution with Pipeson Data Manager for seamless data flow.

Previously a designated engineer would manually transfer the test data to Pipeson Analyzer. In the new solution the test data is transferred automatically to a central database, and all authorized personnel have access to current projects in real time, directly in Pipeson Analyzer.

“Information about the progress of the tests that we are tracking is just one click away and that allows us to make timely adjustments and make sure that the products we are testing will meet the requirements”, says Vic Rohatgi, Pipe Applications Manager.”

Data communication is efficient and error-free, and reports based on the latest data are always available for anyone with a license. The software also allows CPChem to obtain progress reports from third party testing, in a highly confidential and secure manner.

“Pipeson has a user-friendly interface. One does not have to be an expert to use it, and we always have the most current data right at our fingertips.”

Centralized article management solution generates business value

RWC is a supplier of plumbing and heating systems with the goal of providing solutions that make life easier for everybody who uses their products. From the homeowner who changes a leaky valve under the sink to the professionals who are installing a water system in a high rise. One of RWC’s popular brands, Sharkbite, is a push to connect solution that allows for a practically toolless installation.

“We have a wide assortment of products that serve the water distribution system from water meter to water fixture”, says Rich Houle, Director of Codes and Standards.”

All of RWCs products are required to be listed to standards for quality, health and safety in order to be authorized for sale in the US. Currently they have 108 different listings and 10 000 SKUs, and the responsibility to make sure they are all up to date has been a joint responsibility of several people in the organization.

“It has been time-consuming, manual work to keep the listings updated, and the risk of human error has meant that we have never felt fully confident that everything is correct at all times.”

High price of errors

If an article is not included in the listing the consequences could be significant as they are not allowed to be sold. It could result in a fine, cause a delay of a construction project or that a contractor chooses to change suppliers.

“We needed an easy to maintain solution that would ensure that our sales staff always could answer the question if our products are compliant to the right standards and codes with a confident ‘yes’.”

Together with Pipeson’s development team, RWC listed the requirements for an extended version of the Approval Management functionality that would make it easy to maintain the current database as well as adding new articles and provide a clear overview of all the listings.

“In a nutshell it is a centrally managed, sustainable solution, that is not dependent on one person’s experience and know how, that ensures that the right person has the right information at their fingertips.”

Partnership and generous process

During the development process RWC and Pipeson have worked closely together to design an optimal solution for RWC, but also one that would add value to businesses in other industries where suppliers are required to make public listings with a third-party agency.

“It has very much been a partnership and a generous process where Pipeson has wanted to provide us with a solution that will make our lives easier. In turn we have offered honest feedback and made suggestions that would make the solution a good fit for other applications. From our perspective Pipeson has really delivered on their promises.”


Resource optimization and QC at LK Pex

The Swedish pipe manufacturer LK Pex primarily produces PE-Xa products for both heating and drinking water applications, and their production is running around the clock. In their in-house laboratory, they conduct quality control tests for the commercial products as well as supporting tests for material development and product approvals.

“We sell quality-controlled products used for pressurized applications with high demands for regular testing and inspections”, says Laboratory Engineer Mikael Hjort.

The main market is the Nordic countries, but LK Pex also has customers in other parts of Europe and the USA. Since there are no harmonized global or European regulations for these piping systems, there is a lot of administrative work involved in handling various product approvals. Since 2020, LK Pex has been using Pipeson Certification Manager to streamline the administration.

“Before we had Pipeson, the management of approvals was largely manual work. Today, I receive reminders when it’s time to take action, and I always feel that things are under control. It’s also convenient to have all documentation in one place, especially when we have third-party inspections or when we receive customer inquiries.”

Optimizes the use of resources

Åsa Linder works as a Development and Product Manager, and is responsible for the technical aspects of the commercial products and also for material and product development. She uses Pipeson Analyzer to coordinate, document, and evaluate pressure tests, and she appreciates the ability to directly transfer data between LK Pex’s pressure testing system and Pipeson’s system.

“It is easy to compare different tests with each other, and against various standard curves, or use models available in the system to perform lifetime calculations. Pipeson Analyzer allows me to stay up-to-date with various evaluations and facilitates working more proactively”, says Åsa.

LK Pex also conducts numerous tests at external test institutes, and previously they mostly received results via interim and final reports. With Pipeson’s software, they have greater ownership of the testing process, as they can access current data for ongoing tests at any time.

“With Pipeson’s help, we have the opportunity to detect any anomalies at an early stage, which is a significant advantage in development projects. We can choose to make adjustments, conduct additional tests, or halt the process, ensuring that we allocate our resources efficiently.”

“I also appreciate that we received assistance in entering our historical data during the implementation, making it easy and efficient to get started and work with the system. And if there is ever an issue, we can always contact Pipeson and receive prompt assistance.”

About LK Pex

LK Pex is located in Ulricehamn, Sweden, and specializes in the development, manufacturing, and sales of plastic pipes designed for heating and drinking water applications within buildings as well as in district heating. The products are primarily cross-linked PE-Xa pipes, which offer a combination of high flexibility and strength, and PE-RT and pipe-in-pipe solutions.

LK Pex is a part of LK, a family-owned Swedish company group that was established back in 1910. The various LK companies now have customers world-wide in the heating and sanitary industry. The guiding principles for LK are curiosity, fearlessness, long-term thinking, and doing it with joy. We continuously learn and improve – always with the aim to simplify our customers’ everyday lives and contribute to an even smarter future.

Optimized project management

Element in Nyköping, Sweden, an independent testing institute specialized in tests for pressure pipes since 1973. They have a total capacity of 4,500 simultaneous hydrostatic pressure tests and can carry out 250 simultaneous tests for chlorine resistance. The mission is to provide superior testing and evaluation services, which form an integral part of material classifications, system certifications, and research and development projects. Element testing services are fully accredited and covers standardized tests and custom made tests. Element has been working with Pipeson since 2007.

”I estimate that our project managers can handle a project volume that is 25-30% larger as a result of the implementation of the Pipeson software. Pipeson Analyzer makes it easy to work with the data as well as to evaluate it and communicate the results”, says Mattias Svedberg, Senior Project Manager at Element.

Modern data management and online communication

Element has customers in 50 countries around the world, and traditional means of communication had its drawbacks.

”Phone and e-mail was made difficult as we have customers who operate in different time zones, and in some cases also by language confusion. The Pipeson solution allows all authorized individuals to have direct access to the relevant project information from their own screens via the Pipeson’s solution”, says Mattias.

Complete online platform

In September 2014 Element added multiple systems in order to manage all client data efficiently.

“Now we can offer our clients access to all of their historical test data as well as current test data. This will facilitate data management and help them put all available data to good use”, says Mattias.

In September 2015 the Element systems where migrated to the Microsoft Azure cloud.

“Moving from a local solution to the Pipeson hosted cloud solution has a number of benefits to us and our customers. It has eliminated the need for local IT system support, the data is extremely safe and we save money every year. This solution also provides our customers with faster data access since the cloud-based solution has better system resources. Another significant upside is the unlimited scalability; we can increase the capacity whenever we need, which guarantees our customers a continuous fast service”, says Mattias