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Innovation and networking: shaping the future of the pipeline industry

Published 23.5.2024

Alejandro Aguirre, Innovation & Knowledge Mgmt. Sr. Manager, attended the Novel Construction Initiative in the UK, an event organized by IPLOCA. He presented the Pipetrak IT case, the new system being used by Techint Engineering & Construction to enable comprehensive onsite monitoring.


The spirit of innovation is intrinsic to Techint Engineering & Construction, and one of the essential ways that it has of encouraging people to explore their curiosity and creativity is to cater for virtuous spaces where people can share experiences, in the context of work with world-class companies. “It’s really crucial to have excellent networking when it comes to innovation, and IPLOCA, like other umbrella organizations, is an outstanding place for this,” enthuses Alejandro Aguirre, Innovation & Knowledge Mgmt. Sr. Manager, who traveled to the UK on April 24 and 25 to take part in the Novel Construction Initiative (NCI) hosted in Windsor by the International Pipe Line & Offshore Contractors Association.

“I had the opportunity to speak with different suppliers with whom we often work on our projects and chat about initiatives that we are pursuing jointly. I think that sometimes, we don't realize just how groundbreaking these new things that we are trying and implementing truly are, we take it as something normal. But for the industry it’s all news and advances well worth sharing,” explains Aguirre.

This year's event marked the NCI’s 20th anniversary, organized to encourage companies to innovate in the technology and processes required to build onshore gas pipelines. In fact, those involved in the pipeline construction supply chain from around the world meet twice a year, in spring and autumn, to discuss new technologies. “The NCI organizers are keen for us to attend again in the autumn edition to share the latest initiatives and innovations we’re working on,” Aguirre says.


Pipetrak IT in Collahuasi

Aguirre presented the Pipetrak IT case to an audience of 88 senior management executives, flanked by Diana Romero, the Business Development Manager of Petro IT, the company that developed the software. Techint E&C has been working with Petro IT to implement the new system at Collahuasi Project in Chile, as well as other projects.

“Our presentation was extremely well received, and there were some questions afterwards and several people came up to us in the breaks to continue chatting about it. They were fascinated to hear about the real-life experience of a company that’s applied a new market solution in the context of a specific project as challenging as Collahuasi. This is very different to listening to a sales pitch delivered by a solution provider,” states Aguirre.

During the presentation, Aguirre explained that one of the ideas behind Pipetrak IT was to replace the CtrlSold system, a self-developed tool used for nearly 20 years at Techint E&C and which generally provided good results in pipeline monitoring, but lacks a mobile module, cloud operation and direct integration with a Geographic Information System (GIS).

According to Mauricio Mare, IT Sr. Director, unlike CtrlSold, using Pipetrak IT means that the team can work with standard mobile devices (both offline and online) and in the cloud. This covers several aspects in addition to pipe welding traceability, and includes, for example, asset tracking in the field, pipe transport traceability and quality release protocols for each operational phase. Another valuable plus point is the ability to make reports using dashboards and a device’s own GIS, accessing the necessary information from a visualization of the pipeline layout. Mare explains that using Pipetrak is helping to bring about a profound and extremely beneficial transformation in the way that work is carried out on pipeline projects.

“We know that promoting this kind of implementation at an event like NCI will have a multiplier effect for Techint E&C in the sense of its expertise in the 'pipeline ecosystem',” adds Aguirre.

The event was attended by some of the top companies in the sector, including Laurini, Volvo CE, Geostock, Worley, Caterpillar, TINGZ, Cadent Gas, National Gas Transmission, and Bechtel Pipeline.

With this kind of initiatives Techint E&C reaffirms its dedication to maintaining the commitment to fostering networking opportunities such as these, driving innovation across the industry, and understands that these initiatives play an essential role in enhancing its competitiveness and contributes to progress in the industry as a whole.

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