World Premier: RYB Launches ELIOT(R), the First Wireless Detection and Communication System for Piping Networks and Underground Assets

Mar 21, 2011, 03:00 ET from RYB

PARIS, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- RYB, the French leader in utility networks and piping unveils the first technology solution that enables detection and communication for underground assets, at the Gastech conference in Amsterdam (March 21 - 24, 2011). Developed in collaboration with CEA-Leti, this unique RFID technology revolutionizes safety, monitoring, and maintenance for gas, energy, and dangerous matter networks, thereby significantly reducing the risk of industrial accidents in these areas.

The risk of industrial accidents is a serious consideration in the gas and energy sectors, as well as for dangerous liquid transport in general. One of the critical aspects of these activities is related to the piping and underground networks used to carry various resources and matter. Numerous industrial accidents, sometimes with serious consequences, are directly caused by the involuntary cutting or breakage of poorly identified underground pipes. The reality of this situation is most often due to incomplete network maps, or by the fact that techniques for locating pipes are complex and generally difficult to perform in the field.

In order to resolve this major issue, RYB has worked with CEA-Leti to develop the first complete wireless detection and communication system designed for underground networks: ELIOT(R), (equipment for localization and identification by object technology) -

Dedicated to detecting networks, this technology represents a major breakthrough for monitoring and maintaining networks, as well as reducing industrial risks and costs related to networks that are broken during works. The system provides advanced traceability for underground networks, both for infrastructure resource management and maintenance.

The new generation of RFID technology developed by RYB and CEA-Leti, protected by international patents, offers the following features:

- Detection up to 1.5 meters underground, providing accuracy within a few centimeters.

- Support for harsh network environments for detection, localization, and reading of information stored on a chip: networks covered by all types of ground (tar, sand, dirt, rocks, dry, wet, etc.), or submerged underwater (such as in the water table).

- Instant feedback.

- Information storage: detected network type (application), manufacturing date, installation date, serial number, diameter, nominal pressure, etc.

- Tags with no power supply requirement, integrated directly in the fitting or pipe, or as standalone electronic markers.

- A simple reading system with an adapted antenna, compatible with products available on the market.

- A signal measured on the surface precisely describes the detecting pipe, thus avoiding interference in case of multiple nearby networks.

The new-generation RFID tags are integrated directly in piping or network parts using the patented process. Information specific to each type of piping is embedded onto each tag.

Standalone markers can be used to identify already existing underground works.

"We are pleased to have successfully met the technical challenge of developing this detection and autonomous communication technology, specifically adapted for piping and underground networks. This solution is unique in the world today. This development effort required over three years of close collaboration with CEA-Leti, involving research on numerous potential options and over one million Euros in investment. A new era has now arrived for underground network-related works. The ELIOT solution meets operator needs for gas and energy networks, as well as for the transport of dangerous matter in general, making it easier to monitor and maintain underground works and significantly reduce the risk of major industrial accidents in many sectors," explains Marc-Antoine Blin, General Manager of RYB.

Tests were also performed on the GDF-Suez group's experimental platform. GDF-Suez, a major player in gas and water distribution, provided expertise in terms of the major issues in the field, enabling RYB / CEA-Leti to properly adapt the technical solution to real-world operational requirements.

About RYB

Founded in 1962 in Isère, France, RYB is the French leading provider of Polyethylene piping systems. The company is a major European player in the field of water, gas, and electricity transport, as well as telecommunications.

With two industrial sites and a specialized subsidiary, RYB has grown rapidly over the past seven years, literally doubling in size during this period. Transforming nearly 25,000 tons of polyolefins, the company produces some 50,000 kilometers of pipes and networks each year.

RYB is certified ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

The company's continual investment in research and development, accompanied by adapted material and human resources, has enabled it to innovate effectively in fast changing markets.

RYB key figures:

- 3 sites in France: two production sites and a subsidiary specializing in renewable energy

    - 130 employees, including 80 industrial jobs
    - 40 million Euros turnover in 2010, an increase of 25%
    A complete range of HDPE network and piping solutions, up to 1,000 mm
    Clément Moulet - Tel: +33-4-26-23-41-55 - Email: