Cost-effective ultrasonic inspection of large diameter pipelines: technology update and case study
Ries Augustijn
Ries Augustijn, João Gonçalves, Joost Haaksman
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To be successful in the ILI business, organization require the right mix of technological capabilities, operational agility and quality standards. The business is fairly competitive, and often technological capabilities are pivotal in the customer proposition of the company.

However, the best technologies are not solely required for successful ILI companies. Robustness of the system, operability by the ILI inspector, fitness of the product with commercial route to the market all contribute to a rapid return on investment.

Within Intero Integrity we have a diverse innovation portfolio, focused at unpiggable pipelines and robotic tank inspections. Providing a robust, versatile, high-resolution and cost-effective method to inspect large diameter pipelines was recognized as a challenge and opportunity. For that, Intero has developed a Large Diameter Ultrasonic Inspection tool capable of inspecting pipelines of 20 inch to 64 inch with high resolution. The tool is always bi-directional and capable of mitigating 1.5D bends. Gathered data can be reviewed real-time during the inspection. The operating envelope of the tool is such that it can cope with various products in the pipeline, varying from (high salinity) water, crude oil and a multitude of refined products. Despite the fact that product properties (e.g. speed of sound, attenuation, temperature, etc) vary, the tool is designed such that this is not a limiting factor for the operating envelope. The application of advanced ultrasonic beam forming methodologies and signal generation and -processing ensure that the system is versatile and robust for these types of real-life operating conditions. This presentation will provide an overview of the utilization of these technologies, the validation program that has been used to demonstrate tool specifications and the experiences gained at successful projects.

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