Archive for the ‘Partners & Allies’ Category

PICA & 3M’s Holistic Approach for your Pipeline

September 26, 2013 Leave a comment

A common theme in this blog and in the water infracture industry on the whole, has been the costs of replacing aging pipelines. Research has shown that the traditional approach of  repair small leaks/breaks and replace the line when the repairs exceed a specified threshold may not be the optimal approach where 96% of pipelines are still in good working condition (“A Game Plan for Aging Water Infrastructure” AWWA 2010).

The Western Canada Water Conference and Exhibition was held in Edmonton last week.  PICA’s President, Dave Russell, along with Clint Jones, Product Developer at 3M Infrastructure Protection Division, took this opportunity to present a paper explaining the advantages of Direct Condition Assessment in combination with the right lining solution to rehabilitate the remaining 4%. Armed with the right information and the right solution, pipeline owners and operators can extend the life of their pipelines in a cost-effective manner.

Click to read “WCW’13-Condition Assessment And Rehab-A Holistic Approach“.


Russell NDE launches new website

July 5, 2013 Leave a comment

PICA’s parent company, Russell NDE Systems, is a leading in NDT technologies and services. In business for over 35 years, they provide world class products such as their RFT-ECT Ferroscope and inspection services for oil and gas pipelines, heat exchangers, boilers tanks, etc..

They have recently launched a glossy, new website that is easier to navigate and contains at least one “mahout”.

You’ll have to check it out:

OCWA and PICA announce teaming agreement

May 14, 2013 Leave a comment


TORONTO, May 14, 2013 – PICA Corporation and The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) announced a teaming agreement with both parties collaborating exclusively on specific projects and clients. Both parties plan to enter a joint marketing effort to promote the strengths of their combined approaches.

Russell NDE/PICA offers direct condition assessment on ferrous pipe materials (Ductile Iron, Cast Iron, and Steel). The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) provides environmentally responsible and cost-effective water and wastewater services to municipalities, institutions, industry and First Nations across Ontario.

“We are very excited about this opportunity” said Bill Jappy Director of Sales and Marketing for PICA Corporation.  “This teaming agreement is a huge boost for PICA; it aligns us with a market leader and the opportunity to expand from our base in Alberta into the thriving Ontario Water Marketplace.” PICA Corporation will determine actual remaining wall-thickness by using its patented Remote Field Technology,   “See Snake” inspection tools. The See Snake is an advanced condition assessment tool for inspection of Cast-Iron, Ductile-Iron and Steel pipelines. The free-swimming and tethered tool can inspect up to 20km (free-swimming) and 800m (tethered) from a single insertion and the tools employ high-resolution RFT (Remote Field Testing) technology, which is recognized by several standardization bodies (ASTM E2096.05, ASME section V, ASNT TC-1A). The tools are designed to find localized areas of wall loss and measure the depth and length of local wall loss indications.

“OCWA is looking forward to working with an innovative company such as PICA. This teaming agreement allows us to broaden our asset management service offerings to our clients,” said Cliff Jones, Vice President Sales & Marketing and Engineering Services.

About PICA Corporation

PICA provides accurate measurements of remaining wall thickness in cast-iron, ductile-iron and steel pipelines. Their unique, patented technology can “see” through liners, scale and tubercles to detect graphitization and pitting, erosion and cracks. Tools use electromagnetic technology which does not require the sensors to be in contact with the pipe wall inside the pipe. The Tools have equal sensitivity to wall-loss regardless of whether it is on the inside or outside of the pipe.

About OCWA

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) provides environmentally responsible and cost-effective water and wastewater services to municipalities, institutions, industry and First Nations. Established as a provincial crown agency in 1993, OCWA operations, engineering, and technical services provide clean water expertise to communities and businesses all across Ontario.

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March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

The PICA team has just returned from a successful trip out west to the Annual NASTT No-Dig conference. Bill Jappy and Chris Garrett looked after the PICA booth as conference attendees wandered the exposition hall.

Csaba Ekes stopped by to discuss how his SewerVue tool can be combined with PICA’s SeeSnake inspections to offer Condition Assessment of all pipe materials. Many members of the 3M team visited the booth to reinforce the strength of the recently signed strategic alliance between the two companies. Dan Ellison and Frank Blaha also stopped by to discuss some of the logistics of their upcoming Water Research Foundation project “Leveraging Data from Non-Destructive Examinations to Help Select Ferrous Water Mains for Renewal“. These are just a few examples of the great conversations taking place around No-Dig.

If you were able to swing by the booth, thank you for your interest and time. If you were unable to see us, that’s okay – drop us a quick email or phone call and we will happily bring you up to speed.

Check back soon to get an overview of some of the great presentations we attended during the week.

Chris and Csaba Ekes at the PICA booth.

Chris and Csaba Ekes at the PICA booth.

PICA forms strategic alliance with 3M

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

PICA is pleased to announce that it has formed a strategic alliance with 3M’s Infrastructure Protection Division this week. While PICA is known for its direct condition assessment of ferrous pipe materials, 3M offers drinking water pipe rehabilitation solutions that may be installed as a non-structural corrosion coating, semi-structural lining or AWWA Class IV rehabilitation solution.

This means that water utilities can customize their lining specifications to their pipe condition and optimize the way they spend their rehabilitation dollars.

For more information on this exciting alliance, read our press release or visit us at our websites: 3M  PICA.

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Costa Mesa uses PICA SeeSnake on award winning project.

September 14, 2012 1 comment


Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) was recently presented the Avoiding Disasters by Proactively Assessing Sewer Force Main Conditions – INNOVATIVE PROGRAM/PROJECT AWARD by the California Special Districts Association.

As stated in their application, “Sewer force main pipes are ticking time bombs for public agencies”. Aiming to prevent a ruptured force main similar to one that ruptured for a nearby agency (spilling nearly 2.3 million gallons of untreated sewage into three creeks), CMSD employed an innovative process to accurately assess their pipeline.

First, CMSD’s team of experts successfully cleaned 1,500 ft of sewer force mains using poly pigs made of flexible open cell polyurethane foam. No pigs got lodged in the pipeline and there was no disruption of service to customers. Then PICA employed its SeeSnake RFT tool to measure wall thickness. The results have confirmed CMSD’s decision to assess these lines and are immediately making plans to rehabilitate the force main before a sanitary sewer overflow occurs.

CMSD Engineer, Rob Hamers, stated that he has “waited over 30 years for a tool like SeeSnake” and compares it to be equivalent to the invention of the calculator for engineers.

Congratulations to CMSD and their proactive approach to force main management!

Dacon and Russell/PICA sign co-operation agreement

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Dacon, a manufacturer of ultrasonic in-line inspection tools, and Russell NDE Systems, a manufacturer ofelectromagnetic in-line inspection tools for PICA, have signed a co-operation agreement through which each company may offer the other’s special “smart pigs” for applications that are appropriate.

Dacon toolRecent examples include:

  • Russell will provide one of its “High Lift-Off” RFT tools to inspect three 8-in, schedule 80 pipelines in Thailand. The lines have a cement mortar liner that is impossible for Dacon tools to penetrate. The lines will be cleaned by Dacon, who will also run the sizing pigs through the lines in preparation for the Russell tool.
  • Dacon will inspect a 24-in HDPE line located in New Caledonia for PICA. PICA’s tools can only inspect ferromagnetic lines (cast iron, ductile iron and steel), but the Dacon tool can inspect any material, except  HDPE liner in a steel pipe. In that case, the Dacon tool would be used to precisely measure the thickness of the liner and the Russell or PICA tool would be used to inspect the steel pipe. 

The ability for PICA, Russell and Dacon to share their tools and provide the best solution for individual applications in the water, waste water, mining, slurry and oil, and gas pipeline industries provides a more extensive solution set for our customers.