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SGS pilots new advanced corrosion inspection technology for pipelines in Taranaki

SGS New Zealand is piloting an advanced form of technology in corrosion inspection for pipelines and process pipelines called Guided Wave. Bringing in the equipment from an SGS affiliate office overseas, the SGS Industrial NDT business unit is testing its application with key clients, predominantly in the oil and gas industry.

Below: Key componentary of SGS's Guided Wave - an advanced mobile corrosion inspection service for pipelines

According to Brian Goodin, Operations Manager, SGS, New Zealand, “Guided Wave equipment requires a sizeable investment, so we are first checking to see if the local companies find it a good fit for their requirements. If the need is here, we would be keen to have it available on a permanent basis”.

Guided Wave technology utilises ultrasonic waves and screens for internal and external defects as well as corrosion along the length of the pipeline.  More specifically, a ring of transducers is placed around the pipe, and ultrasonic waves are sent in each direction along the pipe. The reflections are then analysed on-the-spot by a trained assessor.  Sections of pipeline up to 60 meters may be inspected from a single location. The process is very efficient, offering huge advantages over the more traditional-styled spot measurement approach.

 “We have trained personnel in the country who can undertake this assessment for clients and the system is mobile”, says Brian.

Below: the Guided Wave technology in action

Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if the pipelines are in difficult to access localities, such as underground or beneath a layer of insulation.  The transducer ring can be placed on an easier to reach location and send signals through the insulation or along buried pipe, testing for cracks or corrosion.

As process piping is a vital part of oil and gas facilities and given the increasing importance of reliability in preventing unexpected shutdowns or delays, technologies such as advanced forms of corrosion/defect testing will play an increasing role in maintenance strategies. The economic and social costs if something goes wrong can be significant to any company. There is also increasing consciousness of health and safety responsibilities associated with asset responsibilities as well as the additional considerations attached with ageing oil and gas facilities.

View more info about Guided Wave technology  here  or the SGS Guided Wave brochure located here

View the detailed SGS Company Profile listing on the New Zealand O&G Capability Database here