Q&A: What’s On The Schedule For Non-piggable Pipeline Inspection

November 2012, Vol. 239 No. 11

This Thursday, Nov. 15, GE Industrial Solutions is presenting a webinar examining a new technology for inspecting unpiggable pipelines (more info and registration available here). To give us a taste of what’s to come, P&GJ asked Robert Pechacek to answer a few quick questions.

Pechacek has been working in nondestructive testing for 37 years and is currently Senior Technology Manager for GE Inspection Services. He holds a Metallurgical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and is a member of several Refining Code Committees with the American Petroleum Institute (API).

P&GJ: What’s the coolest thing about this new tech?
Pechacek: I think the coolest thing about this technology is the flexibility of the robot delivery system, enabling us to get the inspection modules to where they are needed with minimum preparation cost by the customer.

P&GJ: Has it been used in the field anywhere yet?
Pechacek: It has been used in Europe for the last couple of years and we have performed about a dozen jobs here in the US already. I plan to give a case study during the webinar of the type of projects we have been performing.

P&GJ: What kind of systems is this method good for?
Pechacek: The Surveyor tools are designed for unpiggable lines less than 1000 feet long where only one point of access is available or desirable, such as road crossings, terminal transfer and delivery lines, etc.

P&GJ: How is it different from older methods of inspection?
Pechacek: The key to this technology is the ability to get to these areas of the pipe with just one access point. Additionally the SLOFEC modules can often eliminate the need to clean the lines before inspecting them (which is a big cost savings).

The webinar will take approximately one hour with slides available afterward as a PDF. It is free to attend. To register, click here or go to oildom.webex.com.