Benefits and challenges of direct pipe technology

Interviewer: Hi Cody. So first off, tell me about your role with Innovative Pipeline Crossings.

Cody: I’m the equipment manager for IPC, so I take care of all the equipment – coordination of ordering parts, inventory, and maintenance of the equipment.

Interviewer: And how long have you been with IPC?

Cody: A year and a half.

Interviewer: What’s it like working for a company that’s using a newer technology in Canada?

Cody: It can be quite challenging, in a word. It’s exciting because it’s new – you don’t really read about it anywhere. At least I hadn’t, prior to starting with the company. It’s exciting to learn something that no one else has really learned here yet.

Interviewer: How do you feel Direct Pipe technology has been received by the industry and by IPC’s clients?

Cody: I think it’s been received well. We keep getting projects, so that must have something to say about it!

I don’t think it’s the right technology for everybody, but I think the clients we have worked for like its capabilities.

Interviewer: Are there any misconceptions out there about Direct Pipe? Do you find you have to educate people about the capabilities of the technology?

Cody: I’d say for sure. There’s a lot of education, as far as on site, that takes place. New employees – even ones that come from the drilling industry – don’t know much because it’s similar but it’s also completely different.

Interviewer: In your experience, what are the benefits around this technology that the average person may not be familiar with?

Cody: The impact to the environment is definitely largely reduced – even just the difference between downhole drilling and DPI. With other methods you use a lot of fluid, whereas with DPI we really don’t. And the ability to pull the pipe through in one pass, is to me a lot better than having to do it twice.

Interviewer: How does the schedule or project timelines compare with Direct Pipe to other methods?

Cody: Our drill times are usually quite less – much less than other types of drilling methods, such as horizontal directional drilling, for sure.

Interviewer: What do you see as future applications and opportunities for IPC in North America?

Cody: Where we started was utilities. Most utilities projects go to microtunneling, which we have been learning recently – and which is similar technology – so now we can bid on more of the those. As we expand our equipment and as we learn as a company, we are going to dive into more markets, and I think microtunneling is the next step. As far as Direct Pipe goes, I think we try to hit on every market we can.

Interviewer: Finally, Cody, why do you enjoy working with IPC?

Cody: The people, for one. There’s a lot of knowledge within the company and a lot of experience. Everyone is friendly – everyone has a positive attitude – so that makes it enjoyable coming to work. And I think for me the biggest thing is challenge. I was a construction electrician mostly before IPC, and it was a good job, but it wasn’t really that challenging. I always like to have goals and I always like to have challenges, and with tunneling that’s pretty much every day!

Interviewer: Awesome, that’s a good place to conclude our conversation. Thanks Cody for taking the time to answer my questions today.