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New “Locatable Rope” from 3M’s Electronic Marker System Enables Better Detection of Plastic Pipes

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The Electronic Marker System (EMS) Rope 7000 series uses proprietary 3M path marking technology to deliver more accurate and more reliable tracking of underground plastic pipe and fiber optic conduit. Designed as a high performance alternative to the current industry standard solution, the EMS Rope series will be available for gas, telco and water utility applications beginning in June 2015.

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The Electronic Marker System (EMS) Rope 7000 series uses propriety 3M path marking technology to del

The Electronic Marker System (EMS) Rope 7000 series uses propriety 3M path marking technology to deliver more accurate and more reliable tracking of underground plastic pipe and fiber optic It will be available for gas, telco and water utility applications beginning in June 2015. (Photo: Business Wire)

Using breakthrough path marking technology from 3M, the new EMS Rope 7000 Series helps alleviate the detection problems often faced by utilities. The EMS Rope, which can be easily installed alongside underground pipes, continues to transmit a signal, even in the event of a cut or removal of a segment.

Compatible with pipeline installations up to four feet deep, the new EMS rope is available with a 200 lb. tensile strength (skinny rope) for applications inside conduit, or a more rugged 500 lb. tensile strength for direct bury and horizontal directional drilling applications. It has a long life expectancy, is corrosion-resistant and is virtually maintenance free.

The 3M path marking technology, available in both the EMS Rope Series and the EMS Caution Tape Series, was specifically developed to assist utility customers dealing with unreadable surface markers, bad or poorly marked facilities, unlocatable plastic pipes, and aging technology. The location system, which does not require a power source, identifies underground plastic pipes without installing access points.

According to Ed Scott, business development manager of 3M Electrical Markets Division, the path marking technology used in both the EMS Rope and Caution Tape products is a game-changer for utility customers.

“Using the new path marking system, we’re able to mitigate the challenges that often plague other marking applications, such as fear of cut lines, unlocatable utilities, bad digs and miss-hits. Over the life of a project, this may save considerable time, money and provides peace of mind.”

3M conducted several EMS Rope field tests with customers this past year. Among the most recent was a Columbia Gas of Virginia installation in Fredericksburg, Va. “The team from Columbia Gas found the EMS Rope very easy to install, and the reliability of the product really stood out,” Scott commented. Based on this initial trial, he said that Columbia Gas plans to install the EMS Rope in several current and planned projects totaling nearly 30 miles.

EMS Rope is easily and positively identified with a 3M Dynatel brand EMS Marker/Tape Locator Model 7420. The locator emits a radio frequency signal, which is received by the marker inside the rope and reflected back to the locator, providing path location of the underground utility. The locator’s screen display identifies the type of utility and its depth. The locator is able to detect the 3M EMS Rope 7000 Series and also locate most EMS markers as well as read and write to 3M EMS iD Markers. For more information about 3M Locating and Marking Solutions, visit www.3m.com/pathmarking.

Since the invention of vinyl electrical tape in 1946, the 3M Electrical Markets Division has designed and manufactured reliable products for some of the world’s leading industries, including energy, commercial and industrial electrical construction, oil and gas, mining, water, transportation and manufacturing. Today, the division deploys technology to create new solutions to help meet energy and infrastructure challenges.

About 3M

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