Taking Current CCTV Inspection Technology to the Next Level

WWETT Show presenter guides plumbers and veteran sewer and drain contractors through the inspection process, from its most basic level to advanced techniques
Taking Current CCTV Inspection Technology to the Next Level

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Jim Aanderud is president and owner of Innerline Engineering and a veteran camera operator.

A guest presenter at WWETT 2016, Aanderud will discuss Step Up Your Game! Taking Current CCTV Inspection Technology to the Next Level on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in rooms 231-233.

For plumbers considering pipeline inspection or drain cleaners looking to improve their skills, the seminar will guide them through the CCTV process, from its most basic level to advanced techniques, including equipment, industry trends and operator attributes.

Q: What should a plumber or drain cleaner considering pipeline inspection know?

A: When you get into the CCTV inspection business, you’re entering a relationship with the manufacturer. It’s not like buying a refrigerator, you put it there, and it lasts for 10 years, and then you get another. You’re constantly dealing with the manufacturer. You’re constantly having repairs — things like that — so you need to make sure you have the support. The support is different in different parts of the country by different manufacturers. You have to do your research. That’s one thing people don’t realize. When you’re interviewing companies that sell equipment, you have to find out what your repair turnaround time is. Will you come out to my facility? Will I have to mail the equipment to you? These are critical questions to ask.

Q: What would you consider the most important factors of pipeline inspection?

A: The first one is obviously being able to provide good information and what that entails. Information has to be accurate. You have to have a good picture. You have to know what you’re looking at and be able to convey that information that you’re finding in the pipe properly. And the second one is justifying the cost of the equipment, which means you have to be productive: Quality of video means accurate and useful information.

Q: What are the attributes of a good camera operator?

A: I think it’s a very neat position, because you’re taking a blue-collar position and you’re incorporating a huge white-collar aspect to it. There are really two compartments on a van. You have the backside with all the dirtiness of a manhole and then you go into a compartment and there’s a computer — it’s like a white-collar office. Finding that person who can straddle those two is not as easy as one might think. So I think that the process of the type of person that you select for that position is what makes or breaks the success of company or agency. People need to understand what type of individual they need to have in that role to be successful.

Q: What are the latest trends in CCTV inspection?

A: The industry has changed somewhat, but it’s still kind of the same. When we go to the WWETT Show, we see all these neat, new pieces of equipment, but the truth is at least 80 percent of the equipment out there is your basic, standard pipeline inspection equipment. There are bells and whistles, and there are things out there that are kind of neat. Maybe some contractors will slowly merge into that, but right now 80 percent of the equipment that’s out there is stuff that’s been purchased over the last five, 10 or 15 years.

Q: What kind of questions do you get from attendees?

A: Usually they’ll ask what my recommendation is for a manufacturer. But I always point them back to the research that needs to be done. They also want to know what’s a realistic number (length of pipe inspected) I can expect my crews to do? What’s a number? Under what conditions? Sometimes, they’ll ask me about the financial aspect … what the equipment costs. Would I recommend a purchase if they’re just starting out. Sometimes they ask me about operators. I’ll get some international people asking about the brand that they’re considering and whether that’s something that would work for them. They’ll ask about the new technology. Software, definitely. That’s another big part of pipeline inspection – the type of software you’re using.

Q: For someone considering pipeline inspection, what makes the WWETT Show a good place to start?

A: You’re going to see at least a dozen manufacturers out there, so you’re able to compare different types of products and kind of get a feeling for what’s coming out. What’s the future of the business? Talking to contractors and interfacing with them is huge, because you’re finding out what works for them. People have different techniques with different types of equipment. A lot of people work in ice and freezing weather. Will I have a problem with fogging in the line, and how do I deal with that? That kind of stuff.



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