New pipe-laying method awarded construction industry sponsorship prize

The Association of the Construction Industry, Environmental Technology and Mechanical Engineering (VDBUM) awards the PiPECrawler the 2019 sponsorship prize. At the annual main meeting in Willingen, the global innovation in underground pipelines made of polyethylene (PE) won first prize in the category “Developments from Industry”.


“We are delighted to receive recognition from our colleagues,” said Peter Schmid from the Transport and Equipment sector of the Max Bögl Group about receiving the award. He introduced the PiPECrawler and its applications to around 1,200 guests: “We have developed a platform-based machine for laying thermoplastic pipes that is oriented towards industrial processes. This means that we can achieve three times the previous laying speed and can also work well in difficult terrain with grades and curves.”


The PiPECrawler has already been in use since September 2018 at a remarkable construction site: the Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf natural energy storage pilot project, the world’s first Water Battery that combines a wind farm with a pumped storage hydro-electric power plant. There, PiPECrawler lays the PE pressure pipe connecting the upper basins with the power station and the lower basin in the valley.
Michael Hirth, project manager at Naturspeicher GmbH, only has good news: “Thanks to the self-propelled platform on which everything is pre-installed, there is almost no work to do in the pipe trench. This makes our work both faster and safer. Additionally, the PiPECrawler was made especially narrow. This means we can plan with small working widths. Since the pipe uses an existing route, namely a service road in the forest, the tree population is deliberately spared.”


Proven in intensive collaboration


The concept of the PiPECrawler is a patented in-house development of Naturspeicher GmbH, a subsidiary of the Max Bögl corporate group. Both partners were able to utilize their strengths with the PiPECrawler: They already closely coordinated their efforts in the development phase. The fabrication and installation of the steel construction components then took place at the Group’s headquarters in Sengenthal, where the hydraulic and electrical components were also integrated. There, it was put through its paces in a series of tests before going into operation at the construction site.


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