Case Study – Wales & West Utilities

Wales and West utilities logo

Transforming the accuracy and precision of on-site data capture and transmission


As Wales & West Utilities replaces old metal gas mains with new, long-lasting plastic ones across Wales and the south west of England, it wants to be sure that those new pipes are easy to find and maintain in the future.

By adopting a mobile digital data capture solution from AMT-SYBEX and Leica Geosystems, the company can use high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) equipment to map each asset to its exact geo-locational coordinates, down to the centimetre.

Capturing the information digitally also saves time for field engineers and back-office teams and reduces the risk of errors – ensuring that Wales & West Utilities will always know exactly where its pipes are.

The challenge

Safety is a top priority for Wales & West Utilities. The company invests £1.4m a week in replacing all old metal gas pipes within 30 metres of buildings with new plastic ones – reducing leakage and improving safety.

As it upgrades its pipes, the company also wants to upgrade its data, and gain an even more accurate understanding of where its assets are.

The solution

Wales & West Utilities has worked with AMT-SYBEX and Leica Geosystems to build a new mobile solution that uses high-precision GNSS equipment to measure and map the exact coordinates of each new pipe as it is laid, as well as capturing important metadata about valves, junctions and other components.

The benefits

  • Digital data capture saves time for field engineers and back-office teams
  • High-precision GNSS increases the accuracy of asset data and reduces the risk of errors
  • Asset data can be transmitted from the field to the office in seconds, not days
  • Eliminates paper-based processes, cuts costs and reduces environmental impact
  • Future maintenance work should be safer and more efficient due to better location data

Set up as an independent network in 2005 after previously being part of National Grid, Wales & West Utilities operates 35,000km of gas distribution pipelines that transport gas to 2.5 million homes and businesses throughout Wales and the southwest of England. The company’s priority is to keep its 7.5 million customers safe and warm, with gas connections and a gas supply they can rely on, and a level of service they can trust.