At NACE International’s CORROSION 2013 annual conference in Orlando, FL, Pipeline & Gas Journal asked a selection of attendees for their perspectives on what brought them to the meeting, the leading issues in corrosion management, and where their companies and the industry as a whole seem headed.
Some common issues arose at this leading forum for the prevention of corrosion— many companies are experiencing a human resources crunch as the market recovers with a vengeance — but the differences are at least as enlightening as the similarities among these attendees. About 6,000 corrosion experts from 69 countries were on hand for the weeklong conference and expo held at the Orange County Convention Center.
P&GJ: Why did you come to NACE this year? What are your goals for the conference?
• Chris Pollard, Principal Consultant, DNV: We are heavily involved with the corrosion industry with concentration in pipelines and facilities. We have what is probably the largest independent corrosion laboratory in North America based in our Dublin, OH office. We do a lot work in internal and external corrosion control program development, modeling, testing, assessment, and mitigation. We perform a considerable amount of work and research in stress corrosion cracking, problematic early vintage seam welds and fatigue. Our commitment to the corrosion industry is exemplified by a staff that includes three past presidents of NACE, five NACE Fellows and the current president of the NACE Foundation.
• Richard Norsworthy, Technical Advisor, Polyguard Products: I’ve been coming for many years and it’s always a great adventure because you learn so much with all the new technology. I like to attend the various committees and listen to the papers as well as present.
• John Disher, VP, Allen Edwards: This is where the people are; they’re coming and looking for technology. If you want to be known and you want to be seen, you need to be here.
• Wes Sims, VP, Sales And Marketing, Stric-Lan Companies: A lot of the pipeline operators have been merging their integrity and their corrosion groups together to save money. So we come to meet some of the clients whom we need to speak with that we don’t get to see a lot of. Especially this year with the show further to the east, there are more northeastern customers than when it’s in Houston or San Antonio.
• Thorsten Raeth, Technical Sales Manager for Roplast GmbH: Because we would like to show our products, so our customers can take advantage of our materials. We are offering a unique coating material to coat pipes, elbows and key pieces.
• Chris Miller, Sales and Repair Coordinator, Pipeline Inspection Company: We wanted to see what kind of competition we had, as well as new and updated equipment and processes.
• Mike Adams, Manager, Global Pipeline Product Line, NOV Tuboscope: Our goal is to be part of the people who are writing the standards that are looking at corrosion and how to prevent corrosion, so we can have the greatest impact there, as well as to interact with our customers and prospective customers.
P&GJ: What do you think is the number one issue in corrosion management?
• John Cole, VP, Business Development, MESA: How can end user companies comply with and satisfy the federal Department of Transportation or PHMSA regulatory agencies? We’ve had some serious explosions and loss of life over the last few years that aren’t acceptable. Even though the pipeline industry is still the single safest mode of transportation on a per-mile basis, it’s still not acceptable. The big challenge is: what can industry do to comply with DOT and PHMSA? It’s almost an impossible task, but there are technologies that are being made available to industry. If they will continue to adopt those technologies and use them to their fullest extent and not be so concerned about making profits for their company but spend some of those profits to invest in those technologies, the money’s available to rectify the problems. In a single nutshell, every problem can be solved, but you’ve got to spend more money on it.
• Terry DeLaSalle, Executive Director Of Marketing, Greene’s Energy Group: Keeping all this metal from trying to go back to its original state. That’s called rust.
• Scott Riccardella, Oil and Gas Product Manager, Structural Integrity: We’ve gotten a lot more inquiries lately on AC mitigation and AC corrosion and AC-influenced corrosions. As [operators] try to put in more and more new pipelines they’re finding that they’re condensing them into more dense spaces with shared right-of-ways, and because of that they’re coming across AC corrosion issues.
• Casey Nolden, Business Manager, 3M Company: Assessment – to assess the corrosion integrity of an asset, is a challenge. It’s an area where we believe there are opportunities. It’s an area ripe for invention, products, maybe combining technologies that are involved out there.
• Bill Davis, Enduro Pipeline Services: The top issue that we have facing the service providers of the pipeline industry is a need for pipeline operators to better facilitate the R&D process of bringing on additional inline inspection tools to address the new types of issues related to corrosion management. Specifically, pipelines that are undocumented as to pipe materials, pipelines that have record-keeping issues, where the pipeline ILI service companies are being asked to help provide data from the tool to help fill those needs and those voids. Additional facilitation through dollars to R&D service providers is going to be critical to that end goal.
• Jason Reid, Business Development Manager, CECO Pipeline Services: Getting the operators to actually come up with a corrosion program, a program that trickles down from management to your field guys to where they’re going to actually implement the the systems and put processes in place to carry out the integrity program.
• Matt Alliston, VP, Canada, Specialty Polymer Coatings: Educating the clients and customers on proper surface preparation in order to have long-lasting results.
• John Rothermel, VP, Domestic Sales and Marketing, Matcor: I think it always boils down to safety: aging infrastructure, aging pipelines, aging assets and ensuring these assets run safely and efficiently.
P&GJ: What are the challenges facing your business this year?
• Troy Edge, Director, Technical Sales, Greene’s Energy Group: Manpower. We’re in a very busy market right now. The shale plays have changed the game plan and we need to establish bases throughout different shale plays and set up others in strategic locations. We need to hold mobilization costs down.
• Rich Smith, Sales, Inline Services: The economy. It’s always a challenge but with corrosion and all the other issues going on, the government’s going to step up and eventually make some type of requirement for pigging.
• Mike Adams, Manager, Global Pipeline Product Line, NOV Tuboscope: There’s a certain point where the temperatures are getting high enough that we have to see if coating technology can even withstand the temperature in the environments vs. going to metallurgy which is expensive.
• Bob Healey, Application Engineer, Siemens: We have no challenges, only opportunities. We have several new product introductions, a new supply chain organization, many overall business factors just in the normal overhead of running any business, but we’re undergoing some significant growth and we need to be tying in manufacturing supply chain planning and everything else to keep on top of that. It is a market that is showing some sizeable opportunities and we’re going to take advantage of it.
• Jim Walton, President, Southern Cross Pipeline Integrity Services: Our big challenge is finding qualified technicians.
• Gerald Coglaiti, National Sales Director, Pipeline Services, Corrpro: Market outreach. Getting to more and more clients, the smaller clients that we don’t deal with as readily as we do larger clients. Basically getting our faces in front of those people. Shows like this make it possible.
• Chris Miller, Sales and Repair Coordinator, Pipeline Inspection Company: Our challenge is to keep up with demand. Our business really hasn’t grown a whole lot but the demand has.
P&GJ: What do you see in the future of corrosion management — any new developments on the horizon?
• Jim Walton, President, Southern Cross Pipeline Integrity Services: Not enough, how’s that? Certainly some of the advances in pigging are of major interest. Outside of that, what we do in corrosion, I don’t see a lot there. Robotics is very interesting but it’s not there yet.
• Dany Jew, VP, Pipeline Business Development, Wood Group Mustang Inc.: We’ve seen a lot of challenges in the environmental area that have been slowing down progress on energy, so that’s an item that is in front of everybody’s agenda. Whether it’s regulatory-based or environmentally driven, there’s definitely an environment that makes doing energy projects much more difficult now than, say, ten years ago, and that’s something that’s creating some drag on the development of infrastructure.
• Jeremy Clark, NDE Coordinator, T.D. Williamson: From an NDE standpoint I believe there’s going to be more regulation coming down for running crack assessment tools and inline assessment tools for crack assessment within the next two to four years.
• Sergei Chernyshov, Electrical Engineer, Pipeline Inspection Company: We have multiple holiday detectors, different models, different voltage settings. In the future we will combine all three units into one and build one universal unit for any application.
• Bill Davis, Enduro Pipeline Services: What we see on the horizon is continuing momentum in better categorizing and quantifying mechanical damage threats. Just because a dent may be below a 2% threshold doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be looked at with regard to stress and strain with dent analysis to determine if the shape of that dent may cause a stress concentration. So, we see one of the real needs is a continuation of what’s already well underway.
• Bill Marshall, VP, Business Development, Integrity Solutions, Mears: New developments on the horizon for our company include more and better quality smart pigging equipment to assist in identifying cracks, which is a major industry need at this point.
• Gerald Coglaiti, National Sales Director, Pipeline Services, Corrpro: A continued push for infrastructure maintenance. I don’t think it’s going to stop; it’s only going to grow because I don’t think we’re going to have the luxury of building more nuclear plants or putting more pipe in the ground as we have in the past. It’s going to be an ongoing challenge to protect from corrosion and other issues.