energycioinsights

CREAFORM: Bringing 3D to Pipeline Inspection

CIO VendorMathieu Magnan, Business Development Manager NDT
On the sedimentary Permian Basin of North America, a field crew has just arrived to inspect external corrosion on an oil pipeline. The aim here is to complete the direct inspection and ensure that their integrity assessment is performed accurately in the shortest time possible. Over the course of next few hours, the crew will not only be able to save valuable time through Creaform’s non-destructive testing (NDT) 3D technology solution, they won’t compromise pipeline service and public safety running the inspection. Soon enough, the field crew submits their report, which results in site backfilling and the team can move on to their next inspection site. Gone are the “dark ages” of pipeline inspection where crew members used to be bogged down by the inefficiency of the manual pit gauge and gridding techniques. Today, industry leaders such as Creaform provide inspectors with solutions that require minimal training and can produce code compliant reports of defects automatically and efficiently. All processing and reporting can be done at the dig site. Through its NDT 3D technology solutions, the company offers one of the safest NDT solutions for pipeline integrity assessment. “One of the key benefits of using Pipecheck™ is that you don’t only get measurements of defects, you get code compliant burst pressure calculations from which safe decisions can be made” says Mathieu Magnan, Business Development Manager NDT for Creaform. “Amongst other things leveraging 3D solutions in the inspection industry, the capacity to easily share and archive the data is also key to our customers.”

Offered with their flagship HandySCAN 3D™ scanner, Creaform’s Pipecheck solution provides an easy-to-learn alternative for pipeline inspection to owners, operators and NDT service companies.
In addition to external corrosion, Pipecheck can process UT data for internal corrosion, characterize mechanical damage and perform ILI correlation. While the corrosion software module evaluates a pipeline’s fitness for service on a corroded area (B31G), the mechanical damage software module analyzes mechanical damage, such as dents, gouges, and other localized surface deformations (B31.8). Scanning with Creaform’s metrology grade laser scanner provides users with increased accuracy and repeatability compared to traditional measurement methods. Along with the product, Creaform provides their customers with onsite training for the equipment and full customer support and warranty for the first year that can be extended through their maintenance plans.

One of the key benefits of using Pipecheck is that you don’t only get measurements of defects, you also get code compliant calculations from which safe decisions can be made

Magnan mentions that Creaform considers three elements while developing their solutions— TRUsimplicity, TRUaccuracy, and TRUportability— product must be simple in use, accurate independently of user and environment conditions and provide best in class portability. “In addition to our product lineup, Creaform has an engineering and metrology service division that employs over 200 people. This has proven value for our product development as we internally have a full team of end users that extensively uses the equipment and provides feedback to our R&D team. When we develop a product, not only do we focus on the results, but also on the whole process to achieve these results. From data acquisition to processing and sharing results, every step is considered.” Through its innovations, Creaform has had an average yearly growth of 25 percent over the past 10 years and still sees a lot of opportunities for the future. “We have just moved our HQ to a brand-new building last year to enable us to support our growth and planned enough land to double our offices on the same site in a near future,” said Magnan. Along with its headquarters and manufacturing operations in Lévis, Québec, Creaform operates innovation centers in Lévis and Grenoble, France, and has direct sales operations in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Singapore.