Polyethylene Advantages in Aquaculture – Gael Force & Peak Pipe Systems

BACKGROUND

Our extensive design and manufacturing capabilities mean we can adapt to new challenges and help solve problems. While our strength lies in polyethylene products used in utilities and infrastructure, we often take on new and exciting projects that utilise polyethylene in an innovative way.

When Gael Force, a 260-strong aquaculture business, approached us to manufacture key components for their fish pen product, we quickly built a relationship based on trust and success.

Gael Force Marine began as a 1 man fishing creel manufacturer in the Outer Hebrides. After successful growth and a move to Inverness, the company retains its strong highland heritage and values. Gael Force has a long, established history in the aquaculture industry, and over the last few years its open-net pen fish farming products have become a key focus.

CHALLENGE

The aquaculture product in question is a floating fish pen named the SeaQurePen 500, which is built to operate in extremely harsh sea conditions. It must be able to float in high currents and survive tidal events that occur far away from the Scottish coast. The product offers heavy duty, robust design and in models of 120 to 200m circumference, built with PE material which is low in maintenance but offers lasting durability. It was developed with 30 years of industry experience both at home in Scotland and in global markets.

The SeaQurePen 500 is made up of a pair of concentric flotation pipes, which are joined with brackets. It features a deck system that has a plastic handrail for operator safety. Finally, there is a plastic sinker tube with a heavy steel chain or cable inside that weighs the net down. The pen provides easy access for operations, providing integrated hazard-free distribution of services around the pen.

In working with Peak Pipe Systems, Gael Force choose us because of our expertise. “It’s one thing to design a product. It’s another to design it and understand exactly how it’s going to be made. Peak bring the manufacturing knowledge right down to the heart of our design.”

RESULTS

Our work with Gael Force has set the standard in product quality. They have been continually impressed with our attention to detail, with Product Development Manager, Adam Young, commenting: “Peak are their own worst critics and will spot something they’re not happy with and resolve it themselves.”

Most importantly, our expert approach means we can offer Gael Force added value by delivering cost-efficiency. “The brackets designed are fantastic. Design allows us to create a more cost-effective product. Peak are very pro-active on the tooling and project management side, which has taken a lot of difficulty away from the project. Peak have managed the whole tool design process for us.”

Gael Force and Peak Pipe Systems have built an ongoing relationship built on mutual honesty and trust. We maintain a two-way dialogue so that Gael Force’s fish pen products are the best they can be – and we remain committed to being a trusted partner who can proactively offer solutions to any challenges.

Gael Force are leaders in the aquaculture industry and Peak Pipe Systems are exceptionally proud to work on their innovative products.

If you’d like to leverage our polyethylene manufacturing capabilities and expertise, approach us with your design challenge and see how we can add value.

Contact us today to discuss your project.

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To GIS, or not to GIS?

Peak Pipe Systems have obtained formal approval for a comprehensive range of butt-welded fabricated fittings suitable for use on low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP) gas networks up to 5.5 bar.

The approval is against the Gas Industry Standard (GIS) GIS/PL2-6:2018.  As part of the standard, there is a requirement for third-party verification, in the case of Peak Pipe Systems, this has been completed by BSI under the structure of their Kitemark™ Scheme.

The UK gas industry has spent decades developing the GIS range of documents, indeed they set a benchmark for the global gas industry as they are still referenced extensively around the world.

The Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) in the UK, including the increasingly influential Independent Gas Transporters (IGTs), on the whole, continue to specify the GIS range of documents as a pre-requisite for product approval for installation or adoption into their respective networks.

But how confident can GDNs & IGTs be that the products in their networks meet the GIS requirements?

Peak Pipe Systems continually listen to their customers – end-users, distributors and other industry experts.  Peak’s largest distributor has a dedicated Technical Team who are responsible for ensuring that all gas products distributed by them are fully compliant to GIS – this is a key part of what makes them the UK’s leading supply chain partner for utilities and utility infrastructure providers.

This distributor’s Technical Team is constantly checking that products do not just have a certificate to show GIS compliance but, with the team’s extensive product and technical knowledge, that they truly meet the required standard.  Believe it or not – sometimes this is not the case.

The same Technical Team flagged an issue of this nature to all UK gas product suppliers – it related to PE stub flange kits for electrofusion jointing, used extensively for valve and other connections.  The stub flange lengths of all apparently GIS ‘approved’ suppliers did not meet the minimum length as defined in GIS/PL2-6:2018, Table 4.  This might have just been a technicality to some, but the distributor’s Technical Team realised this was more important as it meant that the installer could not actually clamp the electrofusion coupling properly and would therefore be forced to ‘improvise’ and build unnecessary risk into the network.

As a key manufacturing partner of their largest distributor, it was Peak Pipe Systems that reacted to the problem, they developed an extended stub flange product range and went through full GIS approval with the support of BSI.  The final sign off was with the distributor’s Technical Team.

Peak Pipe Systems are now offering the UK gas industry a fully compliant range of stub flanges and a wider range of butt-welded fabricated fittings suitable for use on low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP) gas networks up to 5.5 bar.

So, back to the question …… “To GIS, or not to GIS?”. 

Yes – but only if you buy your products from one of Peak Pipe System’s distributors.

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