Tomorrow's Technology Knowledge Transfer

Last week Synthotech held two great Tier One Replacement System (TORS) events up at Synthotech’s Test and Research Site (STaRS) at Melmerby, North Yorkshire.

Both the Distribution Networks TORS Stakeholder Engagement Day and the IGEM TORS Robotic Showcase were well attended by all four gas distribution networks, the wider gas industry supply chain, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and OFGEM. Both days were supported by our development partner Cadent Gas.  

Each event provided a detailed practical demonstration of the ‘end to end’ process supported by presentations explaining: the history of TORS, the development journey, the wide range of innovative solutions that enable the process to be undertaking, and the new PE fusion-welded micro-fitting designed specifically for this application.

3 service replacements were completed in 3-hours without the need for excavation in the highway.

Representatives from the HSE & OFGEM operating TORS

TORS’ ultimate aim was to develop a robotic system capable of remotely undertaking 10-Service-to-Mains connections (without excavation) within a 100m section of cast iron – ‘this has now become a reality’.

Once the aged iron gas main has been decommissioned the new PE main is inserted. The TORS robot is then inserted into the pipe. Once inserted the robot can locate the position of the old service connection, drill the new service connection hole in the PE pipe, insert and fuse the micro-fitting into the PE main pipe, insert the new PE service through the old metallic service pipe including the old tee into the new fusion fitting, fusion weld the new service pipe to the new PE main pipe, and pressure test the whole assembly - this process is undertaken sequentially for each service connection from a mobile control unit positioned at one end of the work area.


Photo Credits Steph White

Also on show were several other Synthotech innovation projects such as: Project GRAID developed in conjunction with National Grid Gas Transmission - Premtech and PIE, System Two Assess and Seal System (STASS) developed in conjunction with Northern Gas Networks,  and our Water Extraction System (WExTech) for mains and services developed in conjunction with Northern Gas Networks.

Also in attendance were several of our Technology ‘Hub’ project support partners such as: Leeds University and Sheffield University. Our ‘Hub’ provides and promotes ‘best of breed’ collaborations and enables knowledge and information sharing of ideas and concepts through to commercialization and introduction to market.


It was a great success and we would like to take this opportunity to thank IGEM and all who attended for their interest and sharing views us. It would be great to hear any further feedback that you have, please feel free to email or click here.


If you would like more information on TORS or any other projects or products, please contact us here.