Robotic Cutter Applications and Benefits


Robotic cutters are considered to be one of the latest breakthroughs in the field of pipeline inspection and rehabilitation. This revolutionary technology avoids the need for expensive and disruptive excavation while carrying out drainage pipe inspections. Controlled remotely from above ground, these essential tools are available in hydraulic, pneumatic, battery and electric models.  According to size and capabilities, a robotic cutter may be employed in a wide range of drainage applications including removal of solid materials from a pipe, pipeline rehabilitation, and much more.

Important Applications:

The emergence of robotic cutting technology has made a significant difference to the way we manage a host of critical plumbing related issues.

  • Opening lateral connections: The branch pipes connecting a home or business to the main sewer are referred to as lateral connections. Insertion of a cured in place pipe (CIPP) is an effective drain rehabilitation technique where a new pipe is created within the existing pipe. Lateral connections joining the main sewer are covered by the new lining. Prior to relining, the exact position of the lateral connection is recorded using sophisticated CCTV cameras. After the hardening of the liner, robotic cutters are used by the technicians to open or cut away the point where each lateral joins the main pipe.
  • Removing solid obstructions: One of the most common applications of robotic cutters is the removal of obstructions from pipes and sewers. Reoccurring blockage can cause serious challenges to a plumbing system. These obstructions are usually discovered during regular maintenance or while carrying out CCTV surveys prior to rehabilitation.
  • Root Ingress: This is a common concern that can very easily cause serious damage to the structural integrity of a drainage or plumbing system. Functioning as a screen, roots tend to trap other debris and potentially lead to a blockage. Robotic cutters are perfectly suited for removing tree roots, which would otherwise require manual excavation.
  • Removing building materials: Careless and sloppy work practices during construction work often result in materials such as cement, concrete, tile slurry and others getting into the drain and sewer network. Robotic cutters are used extensively to get rid of these obstructions.

Benefits of Using Robotic Cutters:

  • Faster: Robotic cutters can be used remotely from above ground, causing minimum disruption. As a result, rehabilitation projects can be completed much quicker compared to digging down.
  • Safer: Compared to traditional excavation, use of robotic cutters pose fewer risks to operatives.
  • Flexibility: Robotic cutters can be used in all types of locations, including city centre, high-traffic, as well as rural environments.
  • Greener: Lower on site carbon footprint than traditional rehabilitation techniques.
  • Convenience: Robotic cutting causes very little disruption to communities.
  • Cheaper: Less expensive compared to excavation for obstruction removal.

Dos and Don’ts:

  • Before introducing robotic cutters, always check manholes for flammables using a gas monitor.
  • Always take measurement from the top of the existing pipe, in case excavation is required at the access point.
  • Always start your survey outside the pipe because you may miss the first connection by putting the camera inside.
  • Change the oil heads and check the drain plugs for oil leaks on a weekly basis.
  • Before specifying a model, always check the manhole size.
  • Robotic cutters should only be handled by experienced and trained operators.

At Austeck, we have a wide range of advanced robotic cutters tailor-made for different applications. Please contact our experts, if you have any questions or doubts.