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Technology for Onsite 3D Printing Production of Lengthy Large Diameter Polyethylene Pipes with Cellular Walls

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TOPpipes (Technology for Onsite 3D Printing Production of Lengthy Large Diameter Polyethylene Pipes with Cellular Walls)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-04-30

The SME instrument Phase 1 grant allowed Dominion to conduct an elaborated feasibility study and facilitate commercialization strategy development. During the project the following four workflows were performed: market research, a detailed user needs research and partnership development, IPR strategy development, business model and in-depth business plan development.
The fundamental novelty aspect of Pipes.One technology is the onsite 3D welding allowing to produce 120 m long solid section of large-diameter polyethylene pipes with cellular walls. This contrasts with the traditional technologies being able to produce only 12 m long pipes (as the length is limited and it is difficult to carry them at the factory and transport them to the production site). Therefore, Pipes.One is the first to offer such a solution to the market and can ultimately become a leading player in the market segments of sewerage and road construction, eliminating intermediaries and saving the costs of construction companies. The existing solution provides two key benefits for society: the decrease in fuel consumption in the pipes producing and installation process thus shortening the amount of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, and the increase in effectiveness of the pipelines through the lower density of joints which are the bottlenecks of every pipe system.
During the SME instrument Phase 1 team conducted an elaborate feasibility study aimed implementing following four tasks: 1) market research allowed for study potential market demand for mobile trailer solution, revealed the absence of direct competitors in the niche and enabled to define priority countries for Pipes.One initial market entry; 2) dealership and partnership development allowed to create a broad network of stakeholders to ensure the smooth process of trailer solution commercialization and fast scale-up; 3) during the IPR strategy development team identified and classified its IPR strategy, conducted IRP clearance and freedom-to-operate analysis, 4) business model and elaborated business plan development enabled to create commercialization plan for mobile trailer solution scale-up, which is a comprehensive roadmap consisting of interrelated plans for final serial product design development, market expansion and related certification, as well as dealership and partnership development in each target market country.
During the SME instrument Phase 1 Dominion team conducted an elaborate feasibility study aimed at completion of the following tasks: market research, dealership and partnership development, IPR strategy development, business model and elaborated business plan development.
Market research revealed that Pipes.One technology for onsite large plastic pipes production is a unique solution that can disrupt existing market distribution chain. The feasibility study of the market validated that the large-diameter plastic pipes market saw a solid growth during the last few years. The growth is expected to sustain, and the market is forecasted to grow significantly at 11% CAGR from 2018 to 2021. Competitors’ analysis has shown that potential substitutes and alternatives do not fully satisfy customers’ needs and there is a significant technological gap between Pipes.One and closest competitors. Rigorous country-by-country research enabled to outline Pipes.One priority markets and select countries for market entrance.
During our research, we have conducted c. 100 interviews with potential clients, equipment producers, distributors and governmental authorities, which provided us with valuable feedback on the product and essential insights for our go-to-market and pricing strategy. The active participation in the conferences and exhibitions has enabled Dominion to create a network of commercialization and distribution partners to promote the company in the priority markets. Furthermore, Dominion began the process of Pipes.One product adaptation according to the customers’/ potential customer’s feedback.
Within the last 6 months, Dominion team has elaborated IPR strategy.
Finally, Dominion developed detailed business plan and financial model that will be used as a roadmap for Pipes.One commercialization as well as for further development of the business. This exercise allowed to fine-tune our business model, improve product-market fit, get a better understanding of cost-side of the business and most profitable revenue streams. All the tasks completed during the feasibility study allowed to develop a proper pricing strategy, a commercialization plan (as a comprehensive roadmap consisting of interrelated plans of final product design development, market expansion and related with them certification and dealership and partnership growth in each market).
At this stage, Pipes.One is primarily focused on the design of the final version product for serial manufacturing through modification of the existing prototype and development of the auxiliary components. Upon the development of the final version of the mobile trailer the Pipes.One team will focus on obtaining all necessary quality and security certificates, necessary for target market entry. Dominion is going to continue further research and design activities in order to discover other advanced opportunities for customers.
Simultaneously, the Pipes.One team is going to implement its commercialization and IPR strategy through strengthening its patent and trademark portfolio and participate in numerous conferences and trade fairs worldwide and conducting direct meetings with potential partners.
Till the end of the project, Dominion expects to commercialise the world’s first polymer pipes factory on wheels that enable onsite production of lengthy large diameter polyethylene pipes bringing enormous cost savings to its customers and benefits to society through decreasing an environmental footprint and increasing the quality of infrastructure. The broader ambition of Pipes.One is to allow the customers easily produce polymer pipes and polymer structures of various types, thus contributing to high economic efficiency and quality at an affordable price.
Pipes.One - Polymer Pipes Factory on Wheels