IT works!

October 2010

Rishabh Sethi, Chief Operating Officer, SPML Infra Ltd, offers insight into the organisation's technology and innovation initiatives.

In its three-decade journey of infrastructure development, SPML Infra Ltd has always embraced technology and innovation. To meet project requirements and stay ahead of the curve, SPML has consistently brought in innovation and best practices to its projects, either through home-grown solutions or partnerships with international technology and innovation companies.

Adapting IT

At the enterprise level, SPML had adapted IT systems customised for its functions and processes. The company's leadership decided to develop a central and integrated ERP and technology enablement platform for the organisation. SAP was chosen as the ERP platform best suited for the business and operational processes of the organisation. Inspired by the response and support from SPML business leaders and members, the decision was taken to initiate a complete IT system rather than opt for a stand-alone ERP to run the business. Hence, a full-fledged internal IT team was created to meet these aspirations.

The implementation of the IT solution has provided better visibility on our transactions and inventory. This will improve customer delivery performance and reduce inventory and process cycle while bringing down operating costs. The solution is also expected to improve the cost of compliance and resource utilisation through standardised processes, and improve customer service with better controls.

Cutting-edge CIPP technology

We brought cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) technology - a no-dig trenchless technology - to India for the first time through our alliance with Insituform Technologies Inc, USA, for the signature sewer rehabilitation projects for Delhi Jal Board. The success of the refurbishment of the trunk sewer system and implementation of related works in Delhi has won accolades from all stakeholders and multiple new projects.

Insituform Pipeline Rehabilitation Pvt Ltd, a JV between SPML Infra Ltd and Insituform Technologies Inc, completed the first iPlus composite CIPP liner installation in Man Singh Road trunk sewer of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation early this year. Since then, several other shots have been completed, and the rehabilitation of a 1.5 km long, 990 mm × 1,440 mm, egg-shaped brick barrel was completed on July 30, 2010. The installation was 215 m long and took about 10 hours for impregnation and six hours for installation. The line crossed two intermediate manholes. Throughout the process there was very little disruption of public life, and only one lane in the road needed to be closed.

iPlus Composite is an advanced version of CIPP with glass or carbon reinforced felt. This allows the installed liner to have equivalent or better physical properties than standard CIPP with less thickness. There is less reduction in the cross-sectional area of the host pipe and hence the flow capacity of the rehabilitated sewer line is more than any other trenchless rehabilitation procedure. In the current project, the customer ended up with 7 per cent more area in the host pipe. The iPlus composite is more eco-friendly than other trenchless solutions. It uses less resin, which is a petroleum-based chemical, and uses less energy for installation. The advanced CIPP solution uses the same structural design concept as used in aircraft and submarines. The sandwich structure of reinforcement is one of the most advanced structural design methods and is time-tested and widely used.

GPS at work

SPML has proven success in leveraging technology and smart applications in its municipal waste management projects - for instance, we use global positioning system (GPS) to track the movement of vehicles. The movement of the entire fleet of vehicles takes place as per the planned schedule and is tracked and monitored by a central state-of-the-art command and control system centre. Command and control communication devices comprise wireless sets on vehicles and cellular phones for operational and management staff. Moreover, the on-road movement of vehicles is tracked by a GPS-enabled system. The benefits of the system include increased productivity; improvement in service; enhanced security for both driver and vehicle; active monitoring of vehicle; better and efficient route planning; and monitoring of breakdowns and immediate action for repair.

Indeed, our primary objective while leveraging technology is to ensure optimisation of resources and value creation for our customers and stakeholders, while enabling the enterprise to concentrate on its core business.

How is CIPP installed?

• A resin-saturated, coated felt tube is inverted into a damaged pipe.
• Next, hot water or steam is used to cure the resin and form a tight fitting, joint-less and resistant replacement pipe.
• We restore service laterals internally with robotically controlled cutting devices or man entry and inspect the rehabilitated pipe with a closed-circuit TV.