Challenge Pipe Tracking - an Example from Nord-Stream AG

Proceedings Publication Date:

26 Jul 2016
Lothar Kreutzwald
Lothar Kreutzwald
Part of the proceedings of
Billions of Dollars are invested in infrastructure projects like pipelines, e.g. the Baltic Sea Pipeline. Although most of the money will be spend for materials (e.g. pipes) and construction, an eye is laid on tracing and tracking of material and logistics. The aim are, a) to reduce risks during production and construction, b) to document properly, c) to hand over a detailed georeferenced documentation to operations.

Because of this, Nord-Stream AG has build the up-to-date Pipe Tracking System (PTS). Only standard-software from iTAC.mes.suite and P-Systems Line-Management-System are customized, standard databases, webgis, and interfaces are used:
  1. Information to every single material will be imported automatically into the database, using standard XML-formats and FTP-Server for safe exchange of information.
  2. Every material (pipes, anodes, …) is identified through unique serial numbers. Adjacent information like heatnumber, chemistry, test results, … are related to the material. During data-import a violation of maximum- or minimum-values can be proven – pipes outside of the specifications can be locked for the following process.
  3. With every production-step (including the laying process), new information (like internal and external coating, …) will be linked through the whole process. With a fingertip the information, linked to single pipes, or charges can be visualized an analyzed – with tables and graphs.
  4. The material – e.g. the pipes can be localized at every moment. It is covered during the different production steps as well as during transportation and yarding. Availability and scheduling of material for every serialized material is realized. This is of great use during pipelay, because the demand of pipelay can be related with production, yarding and transport, forecasts can be made and logistical planning becomes possible.
  5. Geographical coordinates can be stored to joints and other material. With this the pipeline stretch can be visualized in maps and the spatial referencing can be used. With GPS-receivers stuck to the pipes even a control of single pipes (e.g. locked ones) is possible.
  6. The database is linked with ERP-software (SAP, Navision), so that procurement and invoicing are served. Even tax-problems can be solved because it is possible to identify the value and the location of every pipe – every time.
  7. Inspection is served during the different steps because material can be locked and release. If single pipes violate specifications, they can trace back to pipes of the same charge.
Beginning with permission (visualisation of the planned stretch of line), procurement, invoicing, inspection, logistical planning, materials, coating, pipelay, surveying will benefit from a consolidated database. Even operation can rely on this database for pipeline-integrity reasons.

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