TDW Launches 6- and 30-inch Multiple Dataset Tool with SpirALL® MFL Technology

November 11, 2013

T.D. Williamson, Inc. (TDW), a global provider of pipeline services and equipment, recently launched two new diameters of its Multiple Dataset (MDS) inline inspection technology, 6- and 30-inch. The platforms include Deformation (DEF), Axial magnetic flux leakage (MFL), SpirALL® MFL (SMFL), Low Field MFL (LFM) and XYZ Mapping.

Operators of smaller diameter gathering and midstream lines can now achieve comprehensive integrity assessment in a single run with TDW’s new 6-inch MDS platform. The compact tool weighs only 146 pounds (66 kg) and is a mere 73-inches (1.85 m) in length. Counting the 6-inch inspection runs previously executed in 2013, and those currently scheduled, 14 segments and almost 600 miles (966 km) of pipeline will be inspected in the diameter’s first months on the market.

On the other end of the spectrum, larger diameter transmission operators are also benefiting from TDW’s new 30-inch MDS technology. In late October 2013, TDW completed a successful inspection of a 30-inch pipeline, 43 miles (69 km) in length. The operator was pleased with the process and results, and scheduled several additional segments for inspection in the coming weeks.

Multiple Dataset Platform

Integrity threats, such as corrosion or crack-like defects, can often be overlooked by singular inspection technologies. This puts operators in a precarious position. Running too few technologies leaves the operator with only a partial integrity assessment, but running several individual tools is very time consuming and costly. The MDS platform addresses both of these concerns, as it’s utilized for detecting and characterizing various pipeline integrity threats in a single run, overcoming the limited scope of individual inspection technologies. For instance, should a seam assessment be required, the combination of SMFL and MFL offers the greatest identification and accuracy for detection of crack-like defects.

Integrity threats, such as corrosion, can be better sized using the MDS platform, due to its ability to see the full extent of metal loss. By applying multiple magnetic fields, versus multiple measurements of the same applied field, the MDS platform provides various views of the same anomaly, which translates into greater understanding of corrosion shape and, thus, accuracy. LFM, available on the MDS platform, is also useful for many threats. LFM is the primary technology used to determine pipe properties; i.e., identification of different types of pipe related to raw material, manufacturing, grade, etc. Additionally, LFM is the requisite technology for hard spot analysis.

Going beyond detection, when operators utilize MDS inspections they are receiving comprehensive mechanical damage assessment. The threat prioritization process – based on the Battelle research, “Improving In-line Inspection For Mechanical Damage in Natural Gas Pipelines” – is able to provide advanced prioritization of mechanical damage. For example, by applying longitudinal metal loss, seen only in the SMFL data, and re-rounding or cycling, confirmed by the LFM data, the process may reveal that shallow (less than 1 percent) dents are actually the most critical threat.

The 6- and 30-inch MDS platforms continue a TDW tradition of introducing ground-breaking inline inspection technology to assist pipeline operators in improving