24 Jan 2014
A cable and pipework repair company has been named as the first monthly winner of the 2014 Merseyside Innovation Awards.
Osiris Subsurface Detection Systems (OSDS), based in Woolton, has devised a method of digging up road surfaces that reduces the time and cost of making repairs.
Director Stephen Dunmore said the inspiration from the project came from the National Grid.
"They were looking to adopt a technique from the USA where gas leaks were repaired by carving a ‘keyhole’ in the surface of the road," he said.
The process was an improvement on traditional methods of getting under the road surface but it required two vehicles – a diamond coring vehicle to cut into the surface and a vacuum excavator to remove the loose sandy debris underneath the tarmac.
"I began thinking about the possibility of putting the two together and creating one vehicle to do the whole job, extracting the hard top surface and the softer material underneath."
Dunmore has developed seven prototype vehicles, which are now in service with Scotia Gas Networks and local authorities are showing interest in the vehicles.
He is also working with Northern Gas Networks to test the combination of his vehicle with an acoustic camera that can visually detect pipe damage and ‘hear’ leaks.