CODURE: Automated design and production of FRP flanges

To ensure that everyone has clean drinking water, deteriorated pipes must be replaced or renovated. Replacing drinking water pipes in residential areas is very expensive and causes a lot of inconvenience to the residents, because streets have to be dug open. That is why CODURE, together with its partners, has developed a new system for simple renovation of drinking water pipes.
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No replacement, but renovation!

The developed system makes it possible to place a new pipe in the old pipe without excavating the street. Thanks to the coupling supplied by CODURE, the system can be directly connected to the rest of the network. Each coupling is specifically designed and made for the project. With the help of VIKTOR, an application has been developed that, in addition to the dimensions and structural calculations, also generates the code to control the CNC machines and keeps track of the quality control.

Easy coupling with CODURE

Anande Bergman, Chief Technology Officer at CODURE, explains: “CODURE has developed a patented coupling specifically to repair pressure lines using Cured-in-Place-Pipes (CIPP).” CIPP is a method to repair existing underground pipes without having to excavate the whole street: a new pipe within the old pipe. A fiberglass sleeve is placed and cured within the old pipe that has a coupling at each end. The coupling has a special inner surface that ensures adhesion to the sleeve during curing, so the sleeve and coupling form a whole. Thanks to the coupling piece, the CIPP sleeves can easily be connected to the rest of the network.

Different coupling designs

Unfortunately, existing pipelines are not the same everywhere and the required couplings are often unique. We are talking about old pipes with varying sizes that do not correspond to the current standards. The pressure on the pipe also differs per situation. As a result, every project is slightly different and a new coupling must be designed every time. Bergman: “It is a time-consuming task to design a coupling piece every time in a traditional way. Due to the complexity of the product, we always have to do this, even to just create a simple quotation. ”

An automated application to the rescue

That is why an application has been created together with VIKTOR to be able to perform those calculations automatically. “Before using VIKTOR, one of our engineers had to do a strength calculation for each coupling design. We did this with FEM, because thick-walled glass fiber products are complex to calculate. That took a few hours per design”, says Bergman. With the help of the application, a complete design can now be made quickly and easily. This not only saves time, but also money. “Even small orders are now commercially attractive.”


The possibilities of centralized and automated data

“The application can do much more,” says Bergman. Quotes, drawings and data sheets with all relevant information can be generated for each coupling design. This is not done via manual calculations or individual Excel models, but rather all data is collected and generated centrally and automatically in the application. Due to the central storage of the designs, no previous versions are lost. Bergman: “It is important that we can quickly compare multiple options, so that we can always discuss with the customer and offer the best solution. So it’s also great that we can easily view older designs and track why certain changes were made to the project and by whom. ”

“With the help of the application, a complete design can now be made quickly and easily. This not only saves time, but also money. ” - Anande Bergman CTO of CODURE

From design to product

CODURE not only makes the designs, but is also responsible for the production of the couplings and their quality control. CODURE has developed special CNC machines for production to be able to make the coupling pieces. The final design is converted in the application into a G-code with which these machines can be controlled. Bergman explains: “Now we no longer have to translate a geometry into the instructions for the machine, now we can produce the desired coupling with the click of a button.” Production is thus greatly simplified and accelerated, and the probability of errors is much smaller.

Quality control

After the production of a coupling, quality checks must be done. Due to its use in drinking water pipes, CODURE must adhere to strict regulations. Quality control is also supported in this application. Amongst other things, the following information is tracked per coupling piece: which materials have been used, who has worked on it, whether all sizes are correct and whether all quality requirements have been met. “Everything is stored in a well-organised way and it is easy to trace what happened to that specific coupling piece,” says Bergman.

Advantages of the application

The entire process, from initial design and quotation to actual production and quality control, is thus centralised in one application. This not only saves CODURE a lot of time in designing, calculating, entering and updating everything that is involved in making a coupling piece; but it also ensures that processes are simplified and the risk of errors is reduced. By automating the entire process, CODURE is left with time that they can now use to improve and optimize the product.

Bergman: “It is simple. Anyone can use the application. All the knowledge behind the design, which was previously only in the hands of the specialists, has now been made accessible to the entire organisation. ” So in addition to the centralisation of data and time savings, CODURE can store and always use their knowledge.


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