Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
TÜV SÜD | Vol. 7 June 2013PetroChem | Technical industry e-news updates essential to your operationsE-ssentialshttp://www....
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 2EditorialDearReader,WelcometothelatestissueofPetroChemE-ssentials,thee-newsletter...
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 3Nondestructive Testing: A Techniques PrimerIn the petroleum and hydrocarbon refin...
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 4Using Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning for Above-Ground Storage TankIntegrityThe ...
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 5positioned in and around the tank at differentlevels and locations within the sca...
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 6An Overview of Pipes and Tubing Inspection Techniquesa significant improvement ov...
TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 7DISCLAIMERAllreasonablemeasureshavebeentakentoensurethequality,reliability,andacc...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

PetroChem E-ssentials Newsletter_June_2013


Published on

PetroChem E-ssentials is a complimentary TÜV SÜD e-newsletter that delivers updates on the latest regulations and standards, critical to your operations.
In the June issue, we focus on:
• PetroChem Experts to Present at ICPIIT Conference
• Nondestructive Testing: A Techniques Primer
• PetroChem Inspection Services
• Using Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning for Above-Ground Storage Tank Integrity
• An Overview of Pipes and Tubing Inspection Techniques

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

PetroChem E-ssentials Newsletter_June_2013

  1. 1. TÜV SÜD | Vol. 7 June 2013PetroChem | Technical industry e-news updates essential to your operationsE-ssentialshttp://www.petrochemintl.comCONTENTS:PetroChem Experts to Present at ICPIIT Conference 02PetroChem Hosts Open House Events During ICPIITConference02Nondestructive Testing: A Techniques Primer 03Using Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning for Above-GroundStorage Tank Integrity04An Overview of Pipes and Tubing Inspection Techniques06
  2. 2. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 2EditorialDearReader,WelcometothelatestissueofPetroChemE-ssentials,thee-newsletterfromPetroChemInspectionServices,asubsidiaryofTÜVSÜDAmerica.ThereleaseofthisissueofPetroChemE-ssentialscoincideswiththe2013InternationalChemicalandPetroleumIndustryInspectionTechnology(ICPIIT)ConferenceXIII,whichbeginsonJune12thinHouston,TX.TechnicalexpertsfromPetroChemInspectionServices,includingWilliamBobbittandIdamarieCarden,willbeamongthefeaturedspeakersandpresentersthere.Ifyou’reattendingtheConference,Ihopethatyou’llfindtimetoattendoneormoreoftheseexcellentpresentations.Meanwhile,seethebriefarticleentitled“PetroChemExpertstoPresentatICPIITConference”formoreinformation.PetroChemwillsponsoraseriesofOpenHouseeventsatourPasadena,TXheadquartersduringtheweekoftheICPIITConference.Seeourbriefarticle“PetroChemHostsOpenHouseEventsDuringICPIITConference”formoredetailsaboutwhatwehaveplanned.Or,contactPattySweetenat281-884-5187.Welookforwardtoseeingyouthere.SpeakingoftheICPIITConference,I’llbedeliveringoneoftheConferencePlenaryAddressesonthegrowingacceptanceanduseofnewnondestructivetesting(NDT)methodsandtechniques.Toprovideourreaderswithsomebackgroundinformationonthissubject,we’vereprintedinthisissueour2011article“Non-DestructiveTestingTechniques:APrimer”toaidintheselectionofappropriateNDTmethodsforspecificapplications.ContinuingontheNDTfront,eddycurrenttestingand3DlaserscanningaretwoNDTmethodsgainingwidespreaduseinrecentyears.Ourarticles“UsingThree-DimensionalLaserScanningforAboveGroundStorageTankIntegrity”and“AnOverviewofPipesandTubingInspectionTechniques”discusstheapplicationsandadvantagesofeachoftheseNDTmethods.Thanks!GerhardAbelPresidentPetroChemInspectionServicesPetroChem Experts to Present at ICPIIT ConferenceTechnical experts from PetroChem InspectionServices will be among the featured speakers andpresenters at the upcoming International Chemicaland Petroleum Industry Inspection Technology(ICPIIT) XIII Conference, to be held on June 12-15,2013 at the Crowne Plaza Houston Northwest-Brookhollow in Houston, Texas.The ICPIIT Conference focuses on industryinnovations and solutions in the area ofnondestructive testing (NDT). The four-day eventoffers technical sessions and exhibits addressinga range of issues, including pipeline and piping,pressure vessels, storage tanks, chemical andrefinery plants, equipment for transportation,inspector certifications, codes, standards,regulations, and risk-based inspections andevaluations.Gerhard Abel, President of PetroChem InspectionServices, will deliver a Conference Plenary Addresson Thursday morning, June 13th. His address,“Application of Various NDT Technology and MarketAcceptance of Next Generation Technologies,” willprovide an overview of the NDT technology choicesavailable to end users.In addition to Mr. Abel’s address, PetroChem’sWilliam Bobbitt will discuss “Code QualityInspection Through Computerized Radiography,”in a technical session scheduled for Wednesday,June 12th, at 3:15pm. And PetroChem’s IdamarieCarden will discuss “Three-Dimensional LaserScanning of Above-Ground Storage Tanks” onFriday, June 14th at 1:30pm.Additional information about the ICPIIT XIIIConference and details about the Conferencetechnical program are available at Inspection Services is a Gold Sponsorof ICPIIT XIII, and will also be exhibiting at theConference. If you’re attending the Conference,please stop by our exhibit booth #31, meet ourpetrochemical industry experts, and learn moreabout how PetroChem can help you address yourspecific NDT testing challenges.If you can’t make it to ICPIIT, we invite you to viewPetroChem’s product videos at nPetroChem Hosts Open House Events During ICPIITConferencePetroChem Inspection Services will host two OpenHouse events at its Pasadena, TX headquartersduring the International Chemical and PetroleumIndustry Inspection Technology (ICPIIT) XIIIConference, to be held on June 12-15, 2013.The Open House events are scheduled forWednesday, June 12th, from 11am-4pm, andThursday, June 13th, from 3-8pm. Each OpenHouse event will include informative presentationson advancements in nondestructive testing (NDT)equipment and techniques, as well as plenty offood, refreshments, and entertainment.PetroChem will provide Conference attendees withcomplementary shuttle transportation to its OpenHouse events from the Crowne Plaza HoustonNorthwest-Brookhollow, the location of the ICPIITConference.PetroChem’s Open House events are an excellentopportunity to learn more about our wide range oftesting and assessment services and capabilities,and to discuss your particular challenges with ourtechnical experts in an informal setting.For more information about PetroChem’s HoustonOpen House, please contact Patty Sweeten at 281-884-5187 or at
  3. 3. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 3Nondestructive Testing: A Techniques PrimerIn the petroleum and hydrocarbon refining andprocessing industries, nondestructive testing(NDT) is an essential tool that can be used toevaluate materials and systems while maintainingand preserving costly plant and infrastructureinvestments. However, there are a number ofNDT techniques from which to choose, eachutilizing unique technologies that are appropriatefor specific applications. This article provides anoverview of various NDT techniques and their uses.REAL-TIME RADIOGRAPHY (RTR)RTR uses low dose x-rays to produce images.However, unlike conventional radiographic testing,RTR captures images electronically rather than onfilm. This approach all but eliminates the lag timebetween initial exposure and the resulting image.RTR testing units are usually lightweight portabledevices that include a highly sensitive x-rayimager and a battery-operated x-ray tube, makingthem ideal for portable field operation. Thesedevices are also typically equipped with electronicrecording capabilities that allow for the capture ofstill images or video.RTR is most commonly used for rapid inspectionof pipes, and is capable of scanning anywherefrom 100 to as much as 500 feet of pipe per day,depending on the application. This speed allowsthe inspector to quickly and economically identifyareas of concern that can be further examinedwith more expensive testing methods. RTR is aparticularly useful technique in corrosion underinsulation (CUI) surveys, and can identify areas ofwet and saturated insulation.RTR is also useful for inspecting welding locationsin insulated pipe, and can easily locate welds insupport of positive material identification (PMI)programs. However, the use of RTR is limited topipes and insulation that do not exceed 27 inchesat the tangent.GUIDED WAVE (GW) ULTRASONICINSPECTIONGW ultrasonic inspection involves the use of atesting unit that generates ultrasonic energy. Theenergy is directed down the length of a pipe andreturns to the transducer ring in the testing unitin a pulse-echo fashion. Any change in the crosssection along the length of the pipe generatesreflected energy (i.e., ultrasonic signals) that canbe analyzed and used to identify areas of wall losswithin a pipe.GW ultrasonic inspection provides 100% coveragethroughout the pipe’s test length, even whenonly limited access is available. Therefore, itis commonly used for in-service inspection ofotherwise inaccessible piping, such as elevatedpiping or piping used at road crossings.However, as a screening tool for piping, GWtesting provides qualitative but not quantitativeresults. Defective areas that are identified usingGW testing require the use of complementarytesting methods or visual inspection to acquirespecific data. Further, a number of variablesaffect the range and sensitivity of GW testing. Forexample, travelling through bends distorts theGW signal, making feature or defect classificationunreliable.Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs)Unlike conventional UT transducers, EMATs createultrasonic energy by inducing an alternating currentwithin a magnetic field. EMAT testing units havetwo probes, a pulser and a receiver. The pulsersends an ultrasonic signal in both directions arounda pipe’s circumference, and the receiver receivesthe signals from both directions. Changes in theUT signal represent changes in the piping material,such as wall loss.An EMAT inspection can be conducted on anypiping that is physically accessible, includingdock lines, sleeper racks and elevated piping. Itcan detect small, isolated defects down to 1/8inch in diameter, as well as generalized wallloss from corrosion or erosion. EMAT also allowsfor the rapid screening of long pipe lengths, andcan inspect as much as 1000 feet of piping in asingle shift while providing qualitative resultsand identifying defect locations for follow-upinspection.PHASE ARRAY (PA) ULTRASONICINSPECTIONPA ultrasonic technology electronically modifiesthe acoustic probe characteristics of conventionaltransducers. PA testing units use multiple elementsin a single housing, excited at specific intervals,to generate uniform wave fronts at specificangles. Electronic images are then created fromthe received ultrasonic energy, allowing for theidentification of defects and their location.PA ultrasonic inspection offers high speedelectronic scanning without moving parts, andcan inspect multiple angles using a single,electronically-controlled probe. Data can becollected in either manual or encoded modes. Mostultrasonic techniques for flaw detection can beapplied using PA probes.
  4. 4. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 4Using Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning for Above-Ground Storage TankIntegrityThe use of three-dimensional (3D) laser scanningtechnology to evaluate above-ground storagetanks can provide owners and operators with asignificant amount of information regarding theintegrity of their storage tanks. Compare with othertypes of data collection techniques, laser scanningcan generate millions of data points, ensuringincreased accuracy in tank evaluation. In addition,advanced software can be used to facilitate theverification of future laser scanning measurementsagainst baseline data. This article will describe 3Dlaser scanning technology, its use in evaluatingabove-ground storage tanks, and its benefits.THE TECHNOLOGY3D laser scanners typically incorporate a lasersource and a mirror assembly rotating at highspeeds. Light from the laser source is reflectedoff the mirror in a programmed sequence, andthen travels until it encounters a targeted object.However, environmental temperature can imposelimitations on the use of PA ultrasonic inspection,due to the sensitivity of the small electroniccomponents and transducer elements used. Otherlimitations on the use of PA ultrasonic technologyinclude the size of the transducer footprint, andlow amplitude responses from energy diffusing orscattering reflectors, such as material porosity.TIME OF FLIGHT DIFFRACTION (TOFD)ULTRASONIC INSPECTIONToFD is a multi-mode ultrasonic inspectiontechnique that measures the flight time ofthe sound energy through the material underinspection, from one probe to another. ToFDultrasonic inspection is typically used to inspectwelds and base material for flaws, cracks, rooterosion, corrosion and cladding conditions. It cancompletely cover a typical butt weld, the heat-affected zone (HAZ) and the base material adjacentto the weld from a single position.ToFD ultrasonic inspection can be performed inless time than a manual ultrasonic inspection, andcan more accurately evaluate the through-walldimension of defects. ToFD inspection devices canalso produce an image that can be archived forrepeat inspection, as a tool for ongoing monitoringof an identified defect. Perhaps most important, aToFD inspection does not interrupt productioncompared to other radiographic inspectiontechniques.AUTOMATED ULTRASONIC TESTING(AUT)AUT is the automated robotic deployment ofconventional or advanced ultrasonics to produceconsistently articulated and encoded data. AUTapplications include weld and cladding inspection,corrosion mapping, and inspection for hydrogeninduced cracking (HIC) and stress-oriented HIC(SOHIC).AUT-based inspections offer consistentlyincremented and repeatable scanning, andincreased speed and accuracy of inspection. Theseadvantages enhance post-collection data analysis,including fitness for service calculations. AUT isalso capable of calibration verification.The limitations of AUT inspection largely reflectthe way in which AUT equipment operates. Forexample, AUT systems typically use magneticwheels to secure them to equipment under test, sosurfaces must be clear of loose debris. In caseswhere non-ferromagnetic materials are beingevaluated, tracks of some sort much be attachedto the material to hold the AUT in place. Finally,AUT systems typically require power to operate theelectronics and motor controllers, although smallerAUT systems may be operated with battery power.Alternating Current Field Measurement (ACFM)ACFM was originally developed for use on offshorestructures in the North Sea, and has been used inthe United States to inspect pressure vessels forenvironmentally-induced cracking. ACFM-basedinspection equipment is capable of detecting andsizing cracks in most metals, and can be used asa replacement for conventional magnetic particleand liquid penetrant testing.ACFM can be used to inspect a wide range ofmaterials, including carbon steel, stainless steel,aluminum, and nickel-chromium-based superalloys. ACFM inspections do not require extensivecleaning of inspected surfaces or the removalof coatings. ACFM-based inspections are also60-70% faster than conventional inspection, oftenallowing rapid, single-pass inspection.CONCLUSIONEach material and system inspection situationtypically presents a complex set of uniquecircumstances and challenges. The properselection of an appropriate NDT inspectiontechnique must be made in that context, andinvolves the careful evaluation of the specificattributes and benefits of each technique. Anexperience consultant can provide valuableperspective and advice when it comes toidentifying the right inspection technology for eachsituation.For additional information about NDT inspectionoptions, or NDT inspection services offered byPetroChem. visit nThe light is then reflected off of the object and aportion of the reflected light is picked up by thescanner. Sensors within the scanner are then usedto compare the emitted light with the reflectedlight, allowing the scanner to calculate the precisedimensions of the object.Modern laser scanners can collect as many as onemillion measurements per second. Therefore, acomplete scan of a targeted object can consist of
  5. 5. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 5positioned in and around the tank at differentlevels and locations within the scanned area.Targets are used as guides to merge individualscans. A minimum of three common targets shouldbe used to ensure accurate overlap of the scanswhen they are merged, but a larger number oftargets will ease the merging process. Internaland external scans can also be merged, againrequiring a minimum of three common focus pointsbetween internal scans and external scans. Theresulting data is then merged using speciallydesigned application software, resulting in a true3D rendering of the tank. Accurate measurementsbetween objects can then be calculated from the3D image.THE ADVANTAGES OF 3D LASERSCANNINGThe data collected from a 3D laser scan canbe used to calculate tank plumpness, “out-of-roundness,” settlement, and other situationsrequiring detailed measurements. Data can beevaluated or reevaluated after the scan technicianhas left the tank site, and can also be evaluated forother purposes without an additional site visit oran additional round of measurements. In the future,3D scanning software applications are expectedto support the production of strapping andcalibration charts in real time, thereby eliminatingdelays in tank assessment. In addition, softwareenhancements are expected that will provideaccurate floor mapping and exact patch locations,Figure 1: A 3D Image of a tank externallyTHE SCANNING PROCESSThe objective of 3D laser scanning is to ensurethe collection of 100% of the data related tothe outside of the tank and the surroundingcontainment area. At a minimum, scans should beconducted from the north, east, south, and westquadrants of the tank, as well as from the centerof the tank. The actual number of external scansrequired in order to obtain a complete externalsurvey will depend on the number of obstructionssurrounding a tank, such as pipes, vehicles, andother objects.A typical laser scan requires a minimum of fiveminutes per scan. Focus points (targets) aremillions of data points. The actual number of datapoints that need to be collected will depend on thescope of the tank inspection and the requirementsof the customer. However, a larger number ofcollected data points will yield a higher resolutionimage.3D LASER SCANNING APPLICATIONSIn evaluating above-ground storage tanks, 3D laserscanning can be used for a variety of differentassessments. The resulting image produced bythe scanner can be used simply to identify thedimensions or placement coordinates of a tank.In more complex assessments, laser scanningcan help determine whether a tank has tiltedor deformed over time due to use or internalpressures. Using application software designedexpressly for the purpose, multiple scans producedover an extended period can be compared toidentify the speed and extent of tank structurechanges.Currently, 3D laser scanning is most commonlyused for the strapping and calibration of tanks,measuring and calculating finite analysis on tankbottoms, dike volume calculations, and shelldeformations. The images produced by 3D laserscans enable a complete and thorough evaluationof a tank bottom. Scan data is stored electronically,and can be reexamined and reevaluated in thefuture. This capability is especially useful whencomparing settlement evaluations and groundmovement of a tank foundation.Figure 2: A 3D Image of the tank with internal components
  6. 6. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 6An Overview of Pipes and Tubing Inspection Techniquesa significant improvement over current manualmapping methods.It is important to note that accurate laser scanningdepends on calculating the time it takes reflectedlight to return from an object to a scanner. Theeffectiveness of the scan is compromised if theobject or area being scanned absorbs light, or ifthe laser is refracted at an angle at which no datacan be collected. The distance limitation is 80meters (approximately 266 feet).CONCLUSION3D laser scanning technology offers significantadvantages in the evaluation of above-groundstorage tanks. It can provide a detailed assessmentof a tank shell and tank bottom for deformationsand tank settlement, allowing for a more accuratefinite element analysis of the area. 3D laserscanning can also be used for tank calibrationsto ensure that measured volumes account for thefull surface of the tank shell and bottom, includingall deformations. Finally, specialty softwareapplications provide effective and efficientcomparisons between multiple scans, easing thetask of evaluating tank changes over time.PetroChem Inspection Services provides 3D laserscanning services and evaluation in support of avariety of above-ground storage tank applications.For additional information about our capabilities,visit our website at, or contact us at800-747-4099. nFrom heat exchangers, condensers, and boilertubes to process coders and chillers, pipes andtubing are critical components in a wide range ofpetrochemical production and refining operations.As such, the routine inspection and maintenance ofpipes and tubing is an essential task, as it helps tominimize production shutdowns, reduces the riskof environmental leaks and spills, and increasesworker safety.There are a variety of nondestructive testingtechniques available to assess the integrity ofpipes and tubing. Techniques include Eddy CurrentTesting, Remote Field Eddy Current testing (RFT),Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) testing, InternalRotary Inspection System (IRIS) testing, andLaser Optical Tube Inspection System (LOTIS)Testing. The type of testing selected for a specificapplication typically depends on the magneticproperties (ferrous or non-ferrous) of the pipe ortubing subject to evaluation, as well as the relativecleanliness of the pipe or tubing.The following sections summarize each of theabove techniques and their application in fieldassessments.EDDY CURRENT TESTINGEddy Current Testing uses bobbin type probes toinduce electrical currents into pipe and tubingmaterials. As the probe is guided through thepipe or tubing, material defects, such as cracks,pitting, and wall degradation disrupt the flow ofthe electrical current, thereby signaling a problem.Advanced eddy current testing systems can filterout unwanted responses, improving the overallquality of an inspection.Eddy Current Testing is typically used with non-ferrous materials, since they are less permeablethan ferrous materials. However, eddy currenttechnology is sensitive to a large number ofvariables, and can be 3-4 times more efficient thanother inspection methods. These benefits makeeddy current testing a tool of choice for manyinspection applications.REMOTE FIELD EDDY CURRENT TESTINGRemote field Eddy Current Testing uses a specialtype of amplifier and probe that produces thehigher power fields required for the testing ofpipes and tubing made of ferrous or carbon steelmaterials. Because remote field eddy currentsare transmitted through the wall of the pipeor tubing, it is capable of detecting defects onboth the inside and outside diameters, althoughaccuracy decreases as the cross section of thetube increases.Like Eddy Current Testing, remote field eddy currenttesting is less dependent on the cleanliness of thepipe or tubing. However, remote field eddy currenttesting is slightly less efficient than conventionaleddy current testing, since the speed at whichtesting is conducted must be as constant aspossible in order to obtain the most accurate data.MAGNETIC FLUX LEAKAGE TESTINGMagnetic flux leakage testing uses a strongmagnet inside the inspection probe. When
  7. 7. TÜV SÜD E-ssentialsVol. 7 June 2013Page 7DISCLAIMERAllreasonablemeasureshavebeentakentoensurethequality,reliability,andaccuracyoftheinformationinthisnewsletter.However,TÜVSÜDisnotresponsibleforthethird-partycontentcontainedinthisnewsletter.TÜVSÜDmakesnowarrantiesorrepresentations,expressedorimplied,astotheaccuracyorcompletenessofinformationcontainedinthisnewsletter.Thisnewsletterisintendedtoprovidegeneralinformationonaparticularsubjectorsubjectsandisnotanexhaustivetreatmentofsuchsubject(s).Accordingly,theinformationinthisnewsletterisnotintendedtoconstituteconsultingorprofessionaladviceorservices.Ifyouareseekingadviceonanymattersrelatingtoinformationinthisnewsletter,youshould–whereappropriate–contactusdirectlywithyourspecificqueryorseekadvicefromqualifiedprofessionalpeople.Theinformationcontainedinthisnewslettermaynotbecopied,quotedorreferredtoinanyotherpublicationormaterialswithoutthepriorwrittenconsentofTÜVSÜD.Allrightsreserved©2013TÜVSÜDAmericaInc.Your PetroChem contacts worldwide:|| PetroChem | Technical industry e-news updates essential to your operations ||EuropeTÜV SÜD Chemie Service GmbHPhone: +49 214 30-62653Email: beate.seiss@tuev-sued.deWeb: Inspection Services, Inc.Toll-free: 1-800-747-4099Fax: 281-884-5199Email: info@tuvam.comWeb: www.petrochemintl.comtraveling through a section of pipe or tubing, themagnetic probe detects wall defects and otherdiscontinuities due to variations in flux distributiongenerated by the probe. Magnetic flux leakagetesting is best used on ferrous or carbon steelmaterials, and is less effective with aluminumpipes and tubing.INTERNAL ROTARY INSPECTIONSYSTEM TESTINGInternal rotary inspection uses an ultrasonicbeam to scan the entire length of a tube’s internalservice, monitoring echoes from the tube’s frontand back walls to produce precise measurementsof the tube wall thickness. However, measurementprecision is compromised when inside or outsidediameter deposits are present, or when pipes ortubing are not extremely clean. For this reason,internal rotary inspections are typically precededby “soda blasting” of the pipe or tubing targetedfor inspection.Internal rotary inspections often take two tothree times longer than comparable remote fieldEddy Current Testing. In addition, internal rotaryinspections are not as sensitive as other inspectionmethods to certain types of degradation, suchas cracking. It is recommended that degradationand other anomalies identified by internal rotaryinspection be verified and confirmed with otherinspection methods before repair or replacement ofpipe or tubing is undertaken.LASER OPTICAL TUBE INSPECTIONSYSTEM TESTINGA final method for inspecting tubes and piping islaser optical tube inspection. This technique useslight generated by a laser probe to create a digitalimage of the tube, which can then be evaluatedand analyzed. However, the accuracy of a laseroptical tube inspection depends on a high degreeof tube cleanliness, and requires that the tube befree of moisture. Otherwise, deposits and moisturewill compromise the quality of the data collected.As such, laser optical tube inspection is the leastefficient of the inspection methods discussed here.COMPUTER-BASED TOOLS TO ENHANCEINSPECTION TECHNIQUESComputer software used to process data generatedby the inspection methods discussed above hasadvanced significantly in recent years, increasingthe overall value of pipe and tubing inspectionsand also driving further improvements ininspection methods. Now, large volumes of datacan be captured, stored, and evaluated, even atthe site of inspection, allowing for more detailedexaminations in real time. Data from multipleinspections can also be more easily comparedand correlated, allowing the inspector to identifytrends and potential condition problems in advance.Additionally, inspection reports can be quicklygenerated, using standard templates or customizedreport formats.CONCLUSIONToday’s nondestructive testing and inspectionmethods have significantly improved the practice ofpipe and tubing inspection, making the inspectionprocess more efficient as well as more accurate.Combined with advanced software applications,pipe and tubing inspection technologies havereduced inspection-related production downtimeand increased the value of the overall inspectionprocess. These benefits support operatorefforts to improve the reliability of operationsand to minimize risks to worker safety and theenvironment.PetroChem Inspection Services is a leadingprovider of nondestructive testing services for theinspection and evaluation of pipes and tubing usedin petrochemical production and refining facilities.For additional information about NDT capabilities,visit our website at n