Differential Diagnostics Episode 3

Multiple in-line inspection technologies on a single platform can improve mechanical damage assessment in a single run, including threat severity.


Dents, strain, re-rounding, metal loss, gouges, cracking... pervasive threats from mechanical damage that increase the possibility of pipeline failure. These risks can be reduced. The first step? Detecting the anomalies that compromise pipeline integrity. There are numerous powerful inline inspection technologies to pinpoint particular threats from mechanical damage like Deformation Technology, used to find dents and ovalities; High Field Magnetic Flux Leakage Technologies for identifying and sizing axially or circumferentially oriented features; Low Field Magnetic Flux Leakage, to spot residual stresses resulting from dent re-rounding; and Acoustic Technologies that can detect cracks and other flaws.

Each produces information essential to managing pipeline risk, but as defined by industry standards such as NACE Standard Practice 0102 and API Recommended Practice 1160, individual inspection technologies have certain limitations, too. Due to these limitations, delivering a more complete picture of pipeline conditions would require each technology to be run one after another, or in pairs. That means more risk, more expense, more time spent and inconclusive results. And, without a complete picture, uncertainty remains around interactive threats and which to address first.

So, work on a high priority defect might be deferred, increasing the probability of pipeline failure. That scenario can be avoided, however. Advances in inspection technology have made it possible for operators to run multiple technologies on a single platform, in a single run. This inspection system facilitates identification of various mechanical damage attributes such as denting, strain, re-rounding, metal loss and gouging. The question is, how does running multiple technologies on a single platform provide enhanced assessment value? Differential Diagnostics, the power to know more.