Ple4Win 4.4.2 released

On July 24, 2017 a new version of Ple4Win has been released. This version is a minor release focusing on improvements of data entry and data visualisation. It also contains bug fixes and a number of other improvements and modifications.

For more information, see the newsletter about version 4.4.2. A detailed list of all bugs fixed, minor improvements and changes can be found here.

Interview with Gerard Kruisman MSc

Gerard Kruisman

Will the world need pipelines in future anymore?
What is the similarity between cathedrals and pipe bends?
Curiosity, is it nature or nurture?
Do you always drive home from the office with a satisfied feeling?
Which clients do you cherish and which less?
Are you proud of something and who are your hero’s?
What would you advise young engineers? Start their own business?
What brand of car you like the office to be compared with?
And how do you foresee the future of r+k?

A view on his personal connection to Pipeline Craftsmanship

Ple4Win product support and courses

r+k provides individual help and courses on the Ple4Win program. Rien Radder helps individual users of the program to model and to analyse complicated pipeline configurations. Marco Lammers provides introduction and advanced courses on Ple4Win.

Marco Lammers Ir Marco Lammers is a senior pipeline engineer at r+k Consulting Engineers, specialized in the structural behavior of pipelines in soft soils. He teaches geo (turbo) applied mechanics within the Master of Pipeline Technology course. He also provides r+k external training courses on the use and understanding of Ple4Win.

 

The Joy of Sharing Knowledge

A lot of people know how good you can feel by sharing something that’s worth sharing: friendship, a meal and a good joke. There are also people who are afraid of it: you give something away and you might get nothing in return…

There’s something nice about sharing knowledge however: it’s not a zero-sum game; another person’s gain is not your loss. Even better: most of the time, you gain something too: a better understanding of the things you are teaching.

There is no wealth like knowledge,
and no poverty like ignorance.
Buddha
(c. 400/500 BC, founder of Buddhism)

After finishing high school, I was pretty sure about one thing: I would not become a teacher. Trying your best to make other people a bit smarter and wiser, did not give me the idea that it would be fun to do. Especially when those people had their minds set on all kinds of things, except learning. But one thing I learned quickly was that time changes things…

When I was asked to become a (part-time) teacher, I had my doubts: my knowledge of the course material was alright, but I wasn’t trained to be a teacher. I thought about my time in university, who were the professors that had real interesting colleges? Not the ones with the “sexy” subjects… but the ones who were really passionate about their occupation.

To be honest: I had no hope to become as great a teacher as those who I consider the best. Should this stop me from trying? I don’t think so. Everyone wants to achieve something and as the saying goes: “The journey is more important than the destination.”

Thus my career as a teacher began, after a sleepless night in which I rehearsed my first lessons over and over again. It didn’t turn out that bad: the people that followed my lessons were motivated and willing to invest time and effort to get smarter and wiser.

Now, seven years later, I still teach though a lot of things have changed: I changed, the students changed and the lessons have changed. Some things remain however: the joy of sharing and seeing people develop in a better person, because they choose to invest in themselves and in one another.

Share your knowledge.
It’s a way to achieve immortality.
Dalai Lama
(1357-1419, high lama of Tibetan Buddhism)

Reference:

One of my favorite teachers: Walter Lewin, Dutch astrophysicist, professor at MIT

The Pipeline Master course from birth to heart cry

Gerard Kruisman Ir Gerard Kruisman, “Pipeliner” at heart, initiator of the Master course “Master of Pipeline Technology” (MPT) within the Dutch-Flemish Association (1993-2002) (BIG), former president of the Pipeliner Foundation (2002-2012) and honorary president of the board of the Pipeliner Foundation (2012-present), shown here as chairman of the examination committee.

The first major high pressure natural gas transport pipeline in The Netherlands

In 1958 drilling for gas was going on at Slochteren in the Northern part of The Netherlands. But after a number of exploratory drillings nothing was found. Further drilling was senseless, so management decided, because of the costs involved and negative results expected. At the end of the week all drilling activities should be stopped. However, the young drilling engineer in charge, knows that drilling a few hundred meters more a next ground layer would be reached. The crew voluntarily sacrificed the weekend and they found the largest gas field in Europe. The Netherlands is lucky. So as soon as possible the gas field should be exploited. In order to bring the natural gas to the industries in Holland (the western part of The Netherlands) through the eastern provinces with mostly a sandy subsoil (Pleistocene), and from there around the IJsselmeer to the west with quite a different bedrock (Holocene).

Gaining knowledge on pipeline technology in the Netherlands

However, at that time almost no local pipeline technological knowledge was present in the The Netherlands. Foreign engineering and contractors firms were hired to do the design and construction work. No other Pipeline Standards were available than the US based ANSI B31 codes. But if the construction has advanced to just the border between the provinces of Utrecht and South Holland, there is a polder drainage channel in the way: The Dubbele Wiericke. Originally together with the Single Wiericke, which is a good kilometer further away on the planned routing, they nowadays have a drainage function. However, they were built as part of a military defense work that dates back to 1588. Soft soils in polders that are a few meters below the chest level of the channel surrounding dikes. Soft clay and peat. The dikes were mainly built of peat with steep slopes and from a dike slide nearby we know this kind of dike has little inherent stability.

If the Nederlandse Gasunie, founded in 1963, requested to the Board of the polder to cross the Dubbele Wiericke channel and the American engineering firm Bechtel explains that they have at least twelve years of experience in crossing waterways, they got as an answer “But we have more than thousand years of experience with our dikes”. The polder Board consults its supervising authority, the Provincial Water Board of South Holland. With the result that the young engineer R.A.J. de Kock, (my classmate at Delft University) replied “Just let them prove that the pipeline will not bring our dikes at risk.”

This requested evidence led to a rather complicated construction with one measure piled upon the next. This ‘ditch’ crossing with a width of no more than 20 m, required an investment of over 5 million guilders (USD 2.5 million at that time). The negotiations took month after month to reach to an agreement on a safe crossing structure on which authorization could be granted. That led to the birth of Dutch knowledge in the field of pipeline technology. Not always without a fight, but very effective from a knowledge development point of view. “Show me that what you want is safe for our dikes” was the solid reply of my former classmate.

Knowledge stipulated in standards: the NEN 3650 Pipeline Code becomes a fact!

The knowledge on pipeline technology has been laid down in standards for pipelines in the Netherlands. At various places mainly young engineers started to rack their brains over the problem of analyzing the stress and strain behavior of (high pressure) pipelines in soft soils with subsidence. One thing soon became clear: If you have a high-pressure pipeline do not try to hold it with anchor blocks, but let it deform freely. Master the deformations by soil mechanical and structural measures. All the knowledge that was developed and approved by De Kock to which he himself also contributed significantly, was brought together in the Provincial Pipeline Code 1972 (PC’72). This Code continued to be adjusted until the NEN 3650 Pipeline Code was first published in 1992. The latter, moreover, is based on the PC’72 to a significant extent.

Those young engineers who had started the development of this technology in the 60s, began to get their retirement age in 1992 and it was predictable that as they left, a hole would fall into the knowledge on which the NEN 3650 is based. Moreover pipeline owners thought that having the standard now available this could be the end of the further development of pipeline knowledge. “After all the knowledge is housed therein and it is just a matter of work procedure, according to the recipes from a cookbook.”

The existing knowledge must be upgraded on the basis of experiences and new developments

In early 1992 the Board of the Dutch Pipeline Industry Guild (BIG) invited me to make a presentation to the members of the British Pipeline Guild (PIG) on pipeline standards development within the Netherlands. My presentation ended, based on the findings listed here, with the question “Quo Vadimus ‘, or ‘where are we heading for?” Will we become monkeys pressing NEN 3650 buttons? Or will we continue being engineers who think with insight about the safety of dikes and pipelines? Will we going to use the standard as a guideline and adapt to new developments and results of experiments? In the first case, “do what you’re told” (know-how based on rules and regulations); in the second case, “know what you’re doing (knowledge based on understanding and experience). And the key question: “Can you be a professional if you are not introduced to the profession by means of education and have not developed a passion to the trade?”

In 1993, the board of BIG came back to their question and asked me to put together a working group Pipeliner “in order to explore the future of our profession”. Soon, this group concluded that a profession cannot exist without a subsequent targeted education opportunity.

Education initiative for the “Pipeliner” profession

The working group “Pipeliner” worked out an initiative and gauged the need for training and education among the BIG members. This has led to the Pipeliner Foundation that was established in 2002 and

4D Coherence MatrixThere are no existing educational schemes that focus on pipeline transport, neither at technical universities, nor at professional universities. After identifying the width of the field, exploring an appropriate curriculum, and last but not least, the creation of support within the pipeline industry and beyond (Ministeries), as well as raking the necessary funds, the Pipeliner Foundation was finally founded in 2002 and the Pipeliner Master course began with the maiden date September 12, 2003. In total a preparation time of 10 years. With many ups and downs. People helping you in many ways because they believe in what you are trying to achieve and some who tell you that they will do everything to prevent the course to become a success. But end good all good, the opponents to the course are proud now as well on the achieved Master course.

Seat of the Pipeliner Master course

Meanwhile during the preparation period consulting with two professional universities had taken place to arrive at a seat for the course. It became the University of Tilburg, the commercial branch Avans+. The learning environment was chosen at the Reiskoffer resort at Bosschenhoofd near Breda, where the students can stay overnight as the contact hours are on Friday and Saturday. This format had been chosen to get an equal distribution of time spent on the course between employer and employee. But more important: two successive days with an evening (and bar) in between and a pleasant environment, fosters group dynamics.

Pipeliner, in heart and soul

Mesopotamian World Structure

Mesopotamian World Structure about 3000-2000 B.C.

In its initial logo The Foundation Pipe­liner used the epigraph “In succum et sangui­nem”, meaning “In heart and soul”.  We used this expression to include the entirety of affections someone may have to the profession and, because such dedication is of an emotional/­subconscious nature and thus not rationally understandable. Because of this mystic nature of the phenomenon it is said in Latin. As one of the students said at the end of the first part of the course: “It is as if this course awakened in me a pipeliner microbe” and another one said: “May be the feeling of being a professional pipeliner may have to do with the fact that pipelines are buried in the soil, a mysterious domain where nobody can see the results of our work”. And indeed we work in a domain with a negative notion where we dump our waste, bury our dead, situate criminals and where according to Dante the hell can be found. Already the Mesopotamians had such an idea about the underworld. And that area may be considered to be part of our pipeliner culture. And culture is what people brings together.

TP2003

First cohort 2003

In line with the epigraph a Leitmotif was chosen from a book of the late professor Prof. Dr. Arnold Cornelis. In his book “The logic of feelings” he says: “As long as the technique is not culturally thought to embody the socialized acting and as part of the social control system, the transition cannot be made to the com­muni­­cative knowledge format from which technology can be socially mana­ged through culture“.

TP 2015

Latest cohort 2015

Who according to this statement (as a pipeline engineer) has internalized his professional knowledge and  experience can rightly call himself a Master (Pipeline Engineer). A matter of heart and soul.

A magnificent example

An magnificent example of an engineer who is fully dedicated to his profession can be found in the CEO of Allseas Engineering (an offshore contracting firm) who gave an interview for BNR radio on September the 11th,  2016, where he states he is both  highly interested in the technology of the profession (offshore technology) and goes for it and let common ideas about profit making not prevent him from taking risks, based on feelings rather than rational considerations. He listens to his colleagues and then takes his own decisions mostly against all odds. Reason for him to avoid to enter the stock market with his company (2500 employees), because he doesn’t want others to take decisions for his company. He builds the largest pipe lay ship and platform lifter (Pioneering Spirit) in the world (more than a billion Euro) and is not yet sure to get a return on investment. But in the meantime he is dreaming of an even larger ship that is capable lifting even larger offshore platforms. Truly a matter of heart and soul.

The BNR interview with Ir Edward Heerema (23 min) is attached but unfortunately in Dutch.

Another engineer’s dream

ZonnebloemTo let such future (Pipeline) engineers bloom, I initiated together with BIG the Master course. Not all students will grow sky-high, but we want to provide them all with sufficient knowledge and professional networks to enjoy their profession. A curious engineer with enough perseverance and support from his close inner circle, work environment and of course its employer, will become a sturdy plant that is able to “see” opportunities and to put them into action. They may lift our pipeline branch. As we show too little to society the benefits of underground pipeline transport. In the past, present and future.

Past, present and future of the Pipeliner Master course

Now in 2016, the 13th cohort will start with the section “Technical Pipeline Engineer” (one year in part-time) to get the TP diploma and the previous cohort starts with the section “General Pipeline Engineer) to achieve the AP diploma (as well one year in part-time) The third year is the individual Master year where a self-chosen thesis subject is to be worked out.

There seems to be a dependency between the average age of the students in a cohort and the degree of curiosity to look over the wall around their work. The younger the group the more they want to put the focus on the technique itself. The second year is more directed towards the interaction between pipeline transport and its application possibilities within society (o.a.t. underground freight transport). And in a more general sense regulations and in general understanding legislation and enforcement are part of the curriculum. And personal development is as well taken into account. The older the group the more interest there is to follow the second year as well.

MT 2003

The first masters Marieke Hollebek and John Driessen from the 2003 cohort

The third and final part of the course, the Master section, is often too much a burden for the majority of students. Although the value of this part is very well explained both by the Pipeliner foundation and the educational institute, most of them cannot see the importance of grasping a subject of the profession and enjoy the internalizing of the subject that will become part of their life. For that reason the interview with Ir Edward Heerema is attached. Another problem is that employers in general do not stimulate enough the personal development of an employee in this sense. There are many reasons not to enter the Master part; too busy, starting a family, no harmony with the spouse or work management, etc. And there is only one reason to take the “narrow road” instead of the “wide one”: dedication to your own profession and achieving “flow” from it.  But due to the younger age of the cohorts in time, this insight becomes less. And even half of those who start the Master phase end it prematurely, because they cannot find a subject to study. Incredible but true; if you are curious and look “over the wall” of your daily work, you will find such subjects at least one per day.

Lyceum of Aristotle

Lyceum of Aristotle at Athens

And remember knowledge and wisdom transfer on one hand and commercialism and so-called efficiency in education on the other are at odds with each other. It is one of the tasks of the foundation and thus of the new board to keep the original setup of the Master course upright and foster further development to a truly master environment.  If it is only a tiny bit of the lyceum of Aristotle with wise men teaching wisdom to their students, the Pipeliner Master course reaches its goal.

Let this be my wish and cry of the heart for the future of the Master of Pipeline Technology course.

References

 

Our Core: Integrity of existing pipelines

r+k was involved over the last 25 years in the establishment of a methodology to analyse intelligent pigging results in steel pipelines on behalf of Shell Global Solutions International. As a result, a new core knowledge developed at our office. A presentation on matching defects from successive pigging runs has been given at Bahrain, April 2016, by Paul Herwig MSc.

Complex phenomena that cause detoriation

Corroded pipe in detailed

It is a well-known fact that steel pipelines tend to corrode, internally by the influence of the transported medium and externally by the surrounding environment. Be it above ground by the weather or below ground by the embedding soil. Apart from chemical and electrical processes, even biological attack on the pipeline may take place. Metal loss from the pipeline wall may result as well from manufacturing, construction and structural (SCC) processes.

Quite complex phenomena, but all together resulting in a pattern of defects at the inner and outer pipe wall faces. Pattern that change in time due to development of the various processes. Pattern that in time always lead to degradation of the integrity and thus the usefulness of the pipeline and its pressure holding capacity. Intelligent pig runs measure and produce such pattern.

How  reliable are IP runs?

Corroded pipe sideBut how reliable is the picture? It is a snapshot and with a lot of inaccuracies. Both in shape and depth of the defects and especially in the coordinates of the defects. If only one run is available one has to rely on the accuracy data of the pig manufacturer and together with the pattern found one can determine the quality status of the pipeline. In general one has no other means to compare the result, unless to verify in situ if the integrity status found is below a certain criteria. So one has to determine the integrity status in a conservative way.

IP runs

Overlay of successive IP runs

Apart from the one-time snapshot and the analysis of the quality status at that moment in time, one wants to know the development in degradation of that quality. In other words one wants to determine the corrosion rate or rates. From a series of IP-runs in time one could determine these corrosion rates (internally, externally and along the pipeline), but only on the condition that from the pattern the growth of the various defects (in general many thousands) can be followed. This condition, however, is never fulfilled. The pattern mostly are quite different and thus a method must be applied to match successive pattern in order to determine with the best confidence the corrosion growths and from these the remaining life-time of the pipeline.

Improved corrosion growth analysis

r+k developed such a method – a Case Study of the methodology was presented at the Pipeline Operations and Management – Middle East (POMME) Conference last April – that will enhance the corrosion growth analysis. The improved growth analysis provides the actual/realistic growth details based on the inspection data. So instead of using some conservative global assumptions, the actual growth details can be applied for the remaining life-time assessment of the pipeline. These growth details can reveal the real important spots for repair (e.g. instead of +/- 500 repairs, only 10 repairs are required) and also can give way to remove redundant conservativeness.

Defect Matching

Areas and locations of three successive IP-runs after dynamically aligning the pipe spools

For the Case Study we were able to extend the remaining life period with another 25% by making use of the enhanced growth analysis.

r+k logoInterested in what our services can mean for the remaining-life assessment and/or remedial actions for your pipeline? Or would you just like to receive a copy of our Case Study on Defect Matching? Please send us an email to info@rkconsult.nl.

Looking forward to your story!

 

Our Core: Pipelines in soft soils

Pipeline In Soft Soilr+k is the designer of a methodology to determine the strength and stability capacity of transport pipelines in (weak) soils. This methodology has initially been developed to prove to authorities that the new high pressure gas pipelines of the Nederlandse Gasunie can safely cross water retaining dikes.

The Cynefin framework

The Cynefin frameworkAfter working about fifty years on Pipelines in Soft Soils and developing Ple4Win, it is interesting to see how this core activity has evolved over the years and how this development will continue in the near future. As a starting point for hindsight the development review is based on the framework Cynefin of Prof. Dave Snowden.

Cognitive Edge, School of Psychology, University of Bangor, Wales, UK; a short introduction)

Blank paper and an unfocused mind

As is often the case at the beginning of a design process, a sheet of paper is empty for a time and the mind is unfocused searching in all directions. Likewise, the paper sheet was empty after a question was put on us, as a young engineering consultancy office, in 1964. “If we were willing and able to design a method for analyzing the strength and stability of pipelines at crossing with dikes?” Our minds were as blank as the paper. The licensing authorities were not so much concerned about the safety of the intersecting pipelines, but rather to ensure the safety of the dikes that had to be crossed. Until then, it was mainly the American engineering firm Bechtel, who made the pipeline designs for Nederlandse Gasunie. But the company had little experience with pipelines in poor soils. At that time even clay and peat were deemed unsuitable soils for the construction of pipelines; apart from the high water levels in the polders which was unusual to them.

The flood of 1953

It is at the border of the eastern part of The Netherlands and the province of South Holland that the delta sediments of the rivers Rhine and Meuse change from sand to clay and peat. And it should be mentioned that at this boundary the altitude of the land changes from above to below sea level. In February 1953, and that was only 10 years before the building of the nationwide Gasunie gas network, that more than 1,800 people had drowned. The first pipelines in these soft soils had to be built in the province of South Holland where also many dikes were broken under the force of the water. It was no wonder that authorities came up with many rules that were specifically aimed at the safety of the water retaining dikes (the altitude of the deepest polders goes down to 6 m below sea level). However, the authorities and design offices and even Gasunie had very little knowledge of the problem that arose. No license to build could be given, other than at very high costs, as a number of safeguarding measures was piled on top of each other. Many dikes had to be crossed, requiring an unknown increase in budget and many years of delay. It was at that time the Gasunie visited our office (being only four years old at that time) and asked to solve this problem for them.

The chaotic phase

And when the design stage and thus the model development started, in fact a chaotic phase commenced. Similar to the start of any design process. Only this time the design process of an unknown matter. At that stage many thoughts flash through your mind, but you cannot have them landed yet. The scratch phase of an entirely new design. You scribble something on the paper and try to bring some meaning, some ordering to it. Starting with an analytic part on one side of the paper and a synthetic part opposite. For this case: “What aspects and circumstances affect the strength and stability behavior of a transport pipeline in soft soil” (the analytical phase), followed by “How do all the relevant aspects and circumstances work together in conjunction with the strength and stiffness behavior of the specific pipe”? Collect everything you consider to be of any importance and try to find some consistency, some structure.

The complex phase

Once that first phase evolved into a structure that makes sense (remember Snowden’s ‘sense-making models’), the next phase is the complex phase, because now the question becomes: “Does the tentative ‘idea-reality’ correspond to the ‘real-reality’?” The latter appearing from tests and practice. Inconsistencies appear directly as soon as that thought reality is poured into a computer  model and results are compared with analytical solutions and test results. That is, of course, if they are available. Analytical solutions are a “bottom-up” approach, but analytical solutions are only available for significantly reduced pipeline configurations. Test results reflect reality, but are usually scarce and represent only part of reality. For example, only a pipe without soil. Testing is a top-down approach. Given the complex nature of reality of a complicated pipeline configuration in soil (and therefore far from the possibility of an analytical solution) the result of a model is usually not predictable on forehand and only understandable in retrospect. A typical example of complexity according to the Cynefin model.

Sense of making model

The complicated phase

Gradually through application and exercise the insight and awareness of the behavior of a (soft) ground embedded pipeline will increase. As a result the knowledge of the behavior of embedded pipelines will grow and with it the degree of predictability. Hindsight evolves to foresight. The user-model relationship entered the complicated phase. The user requires the necessary expertise to use the model correctly. A curious result usually is caused by an (unintended) incorrect modeling, sometimes by an unexpected behavior and even sometimes by a program bug. But in all cases the user requires sufficient expertise to recognize such curious results.

The simple phase

Finally, for simple applications procedural solutions can be created such that even less experienced users can use the model and bypass the complexity, because their choice is severely limited. The creative knowledge aspect is taken over by the “how to do it”, the know-how aspect. Which does not mean that this is the end of thinking and responsibility.

Reality is an infinite challenge

However, for the creators of the model this means no end to the creative process. Long before the complicated and eventually the simple stages are reached, new questions on pipeline strength and stability arise within in pipeline technology. These lead to new developments, starting again with the chaotic phase as outlined above. New shoots grow on the model tree. To name a few: offshore pipelines with tie-ins to platforms, transport of cold and hot media, new construction techniques, pipeline instability phenomena (e.g. upheaval buckling), causes of accidents, pipe material elasto-plastic behavior, fit for purpose of existing (corroded) piping, etc.

A mer-a-boire, because reality is infinite complex and mostly chaotic. Sufficient challenge to return again and again to the chaotic phase; to try to bring some structure in our thinking about the real world. Knowledge is relative; relative to infinity. Isn’t that the engineering way of enjoying your trade?

r+k logoInterested in what we can mean for your kind of pipeline analysis questions? We will be glad to discuss our possibilities with you. Please send us an email to info@rkconsult.nl.

Looking forward to your story!

 

Piet, 40 years our colleague at r+k

Piet Steffens nu

Piet Steffens at present

Petrus Johannes Steffens has quite a career behind him. Born in the first year of WOII, after the basic school, he entered the lower technical school, where he left in 1956 being a carpenter. From 1957 until 1970 he worked as an engineering draughtsman at various engineering offices, but in the meantime he finished the secondary technical school in architecture in 1963. He studied in the evening hours, because of his regular work at daytime. But that was not enough for him. In the evening hours he studied further at the Higher Technical Institute and got his design engineering certificate in 1966. Still not enough he got his Bachelor degree in civil engineering at the School of Poly-technics in Amsterdam in 1970, followed by a course on Concrete Design Engineer; a qualification he got in 1971. In 1970 he switched from engineering draughtsman at the engineering office he was already working for to system programmer. As a result he can tell you for instance a lot about the key system of the Bijlmer prison he did interesting work on. He followed as well a number of courses on computer programming and even followed a course at the Technical University Delft on finite element methods, which became the basis for his later work on the various versions of PLE. In 1976 he joined the engineering consultancy bureau r+k Consulting Engineers. He started In the function of concrete design engineer followed by systems engineer and finally head of the computer department. Meanwhile he took various courses on ICT subjects.

Piet Steffens toen

Piet at the new Harris computer in 1978

Although he assisted and developed a number of smaller programs (e.g. DAWA, HOSPE, WABAPL) he became the fulcrum in the team that developed the Ple series, BELIPO, PLE-micro-CAD and finally Ple4Win. For almost 40 years. And he is still working on the program. Be it now for only one and a half day a week, but you may hear him often for more days a week. Hear him in his conversation to his friend and enemy, the computer. Living already for ages at Delft with his wife Ada, he did his daily cycling between Delft and Rijswijk all these years, braving weather and winds, summer and winter. But what he did in fact, was thinking about the programming problems he encoun­tered during the day. So he could tell his computer the next day how to behave like a good companion. The same applies if he comes to you to discuss a (computing) problem. Most of the time you have not the slightest idea he is talking about, but at the end he thanks you for being so helpful. By talking to you he orders his thoughts. Indeed Piet still is our loyal pillar of strength and stability. Far beyond the age most people want to enjoy their pension.

Ple4Win 50 years

 

On October 1, 2015, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Ple4Win at the historical fortress Wierickerschans.

DSC_0231s

DSC_0181s

A presentation was given about the difficulties the Dutch Gasunie encountered when they wanted to cross the nearby Dubbele Wiericke with a 36″ high-pressure gas pipeline in 1965.

DSC_0248s

The construction finally used was too conservative (and too expensive!) for all practical purposes, but almost nothing was known about pipe-soil interaction then. So the necessity to explore the behaviour of buried pipelines was pressing, and this was the starting point for developments that finally led to the Ple4Win program of today.

A short history

The methodology for the development of Ple4Win started in 1965 and gradually the computer program came into existence. The first attempts to put the findings so far in ‘a computer program’ was in 1966.

This first attempt was a cobbled-together program, grouped around the IBM program FRAN, that we had used before for the Vierendeel beam of the Technical University at Eindhoven. With this program suite we managed to get the first building license for the pipeline crossing Maassluisse dike. After this achievement we were able to get other crossing licenses for Gasunie, but it was clear to us, that we had to develop a dedicated program that was easier to use. This program became the DOS-based BELIPO. Start of use was in 1970 and it has been used until 1987. Kaypro First program version ran on a mainframe computer (IBM 7094) and BELIPO on a Harris 500 mini computer.

As at the end of the 70’s micro computers became popular, we tried to bring the BELIPO program to a Kaypro with CPM operating system. To our surprise, we could get it running. This attempt was just a try and not suitable to perform crossing calculations. But then IBM launched in 1980 the first Personal Computer (PC). That computer was able to run the chopped BELIPO program, but Windows was not yet in the picture for 10 years. Nevertheless we managed to build a graphical interface (1981) that afterwards very much looked like the first version of Windows. It was the start of a new program PLE-micro-CAD, that was launched in  1987 and was in service up till 2010.

In 2008 the first Windows version Ple4Win was launched, that in successive versions is still in service.