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British pipeline owner Centrica falls for Creaform’s Pipecheck solution

I travelled to the tiny British town of Barrow-in-Furness, I have done my first training on how to use Creaform’s Pipecheck solution for pipeline integrity assessment with the Rugged Field Pack. The customer, British integrated energy company Centrica, owns hundreds of kilometers of pipelines, on and off shore.

Before they were introduced to Creaform’s Pipecheck solution, Centrica used to calculate burst pressure using a manual, lengthy and not-so-accurate method.  They would put a grid on the pipeline and use a manual pit gauge to try and get the worst point for each one inch square of the grid. Then, they would take pictures of the pipes and use all of this data to generate a Word report with all the data they needed to decide if they had to close the plant for repair, or if it could wait for the next annual stop.

Manual pit gauge


Centrica and the Pipecheck software for pipeline integrity assessment

But this was old times. Centrica now uses a Handyscan 3D scanner (an EXAscan to be exact), with the Pipecheck software for pipeline external corrosion assessment. No more grids, no more pit gages, no more pictures, and you no longer need to be extra careful when entering measurement data into the computer.

Pipecheck for pipeline integrity assessment

The only things left to do are to stick a Creaform retro-reflective targets every 3 to 10 cm of the corroded pipe, place the reference arrow if they want, and scan the pipe.

Tech Tip: The EXAscan offers an on-demand “High resolution” data acquisition functionality. When using an EXAscan to scan pipes, work with a resolution of 2-3 mm on healthy areas, and use the High resolution button when scanning corroded areas

In 3 clicks, Centrica get more than it ever did before. Click 1: Selecting the good template parameters. Click 2: calculating of analysis. Click 3: generating the full report.

What do they get now than they did not before?

  • picture of the part, with colormaps for deep points;
  • worst case profile of each corroded area;
  • all burst pressure calculations

No need to use the grid anymore, since they get the burst pressure instantly, in addition to the river bottom path and the surface area for each corroded area. And if they want to see the grid again, they can actually get a 2-mm square grid with just 1 more click.

Hands-on practice in the field – inspection staff is getting used to Pipecheck

After only 2 days of training, I went on site with the quality control/inspection team to QC a pipe section, so that the people at Centrica could try the system themselves. In less than 3 hours, they managed to prepare the system and the part, scan the pipeline, generate the Excel report, and clean all the area! They were really surprised how fast it went!

Centrica employee quickly getting used to Pipecheck with the rugged Field Pack

They were super excited when they realized that using the pit gage technique, it used to take them more than 3 days to take the very same measurements!

Benefits: instant burst pressure calculations, real-time data generation, non contact 3D scanning, river bottom path, accurate measurement of corroded pipe, no pit gauge, no measurement grid.

Article written by Creaform

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