Oil & Gas

Ultrasonic sensor solution for digitalised internal corrosion and erosion monitoring

Key facts

3 core

integrated system components

130°C/266°F

max operating temperature

100%

non-destructive sensors

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Top business benefits

Streamlines abrasion and corrosion monitoring

Generates reliable wall-thickness data

Optimises chemical injection

Progresses digitisation objectives/ Net Zero targets

Accurately trends corrosion rate over time

Increases plant uptime

Lengthens asset life

Improves operational efficiency

Reduces OPEX

Enhances plant safety

Reduces risk of environmental damage 

In more detail

Full description

Oil and gas installations have miles of process pipework and vessels that are susceptible to erosion and corrosion. Typically, expensive non-destructive testing (NDT) inspector contractors are called upon regularly to measure wall thickness to ascertain where pipes require repair or replacement. Coupons or probes are used to calculate corrosion rates via an in-direct wall-thickness measurement. Both these systems are time consuming, costly and prone to human error. Alternatively, fully-automated solutions are installed at extensive cost and downtime. Networked, real-time solutions are plagued by battery failures and costly upgrades.

These battery-free, ultra-thin ultrasonic sensors are quickly and permanently installed along the pipe line, even under insulation where necessary, with no downtime. The customer identifies monitoring locations and the optimal resource for installation; a comprehensive installation training package is then delivered remotely.

A data collector wand is used to acquire repeatable measurements from the sensor, the associated RFID tag logs the sensor location. No skill is required for this task, making it a cost-effective resource that can be used as frequently as required. Specialist software then analyses and interprets the measurements, generating the wall loss data necessary to optimise predictive maintenance.

The challenge

Oil and gas assets are heavily reliant on data to optimise operations. Conventional NDT inspection techniques and reactive maintenance is still the norm across the industry. These methods are prone to human error, time consuming and costly, making predictive maintenance extremely challenging for asset managers. This impacts production and the reliability of the asset.

Major operators must run lean operations to make a profit in the current climate, this problem can be alleviated where smaller, cash-rich operators invest in their asset, yet an unreliable, inefficient asset is not an attractive investment.

Operators are now under pressure to meet Net Zero targets and source digital solutions. This creates a new set of challenges leading to significant upfront costs, network security risks and future obsolescence without the budget to upgrade. Over time, the poor visibility of asset condition leaves operators at risk of catastrophic failures.

The approach

This robustly installed ultrasonic monitoring solution has already been deployed successfully with major oil and gas operators in the UK, Alaska, South America, Malaysia, China, and Australia. The system has been proven to provide an instant and accurate window on the integrity of the asset.

These battery-free, ultra-thin, ATEX-certified ultrasonic sensors are quickly and permanently fixed with no downtime at monitoring locations identified by the customer, including areas where inspectors struggle to take readings.

The sensors precisely measure pipework and vessel-wall thickness and they lose no accuracy of measurement capability even when installed under composite repairs. For thick layers of insulation the measurement can be offset, to give an accurate reading without the need to remove the insulation.

A data collector wand is used to acquire repeatable measurements from the sensor, the associated RFID tag logs the sensor location. No skill is required for this task and a comprehensive installation training package is delivered remotely; making it a cost-effective resource that can be used as frequently as required.

The data from the data collection probe is instantly uploaded on site to the remote data-management software for reporting, location tracking, analysis, and integration with third-party software. It generates the erosion and corrosion-rate data necessary to optimise predictive maintenance.

This solution can be quickly deployed for a trial-phase period prior to embarking on a full roll out. Its robust data on corrosion and erosion rates can be accurately trended to aid informed asset-maintenance decisions and drastically reduce maintenance costs associated with lifecycle asset-integrity management of process pipework and vessels.

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