In this special episode of the Pipeline Technology Podcast, host Russel Treat speaks with multiple guests on the floor of the trade show exhibit at Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management 2023.
This episode covers the topics and focuses of PPIM and features guests from various companies.
Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management (PPIM) Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms:
- Cedric Oudinot is the President of CSNRI.
- CSNRI | CSNRI is the world’s leading manufacturer of proven, highly-engineered products for the repair and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure. CSNRI’s composite solutions address pipeline anomalies from metal loss and small deformations to large deformations, crack/crack-like features, as well as damage to process piping working in the range of -58ºF to 730ºF (-50ºC to 388ºC).
- Jump to Cedric Oudinot in the Transcript
- Tommy Precht is the Senior Sales Executive at Allan Edwards.
- Allan Edwards | Since 1947, Allan Edwards has provided innovative solutions for the oil and gas industry. They help customers address their toughest pipeline challenges through their time-tested application of pipeline weighting, concrete coating, and repair sleeve solutions.
- Jump to Tommy Precht in the Transcript
- Jacques Nicol is Technical Specialist in the Canadian market of TDW.
- TDW | For more than 100 years, TDW has delivered innovative solutions across the pipeline system lifecycle for gathering, transmission and distribution operators.Team members and channel partners on six continents help pipeline operators safely deliver energy to a growing world while also addressing evolving regulatory and climate challenges. TDW works to keep product in the pipe and emissions out of the air, to prepare pipelines to transport future energy products and to protect the planet by meeting net-zero ambitions.
- Jump to Jacques Nicol in the Transcript
- RJ Labrador is a Technical Field Specialist with Polyguard.
- Polyguard | Polyguard is an employee-owned manufacturer of protective coatings in a variety of markets, including the Pipeline Industry and Commercial Construction Industry. They are innovators of two-thirds of the products we market.
- Jump to RJ Labrador in the Transcript
- Henry Green is a Business Development Manager and Cory McConnell is a Mechanical Engineer with Enduro.
- Enduro | Enduro provides In-line-Inspection Services, cleaning pigs, tracking equipment plus project management services to the pipeline industry. They also offer MFL Multiple Technology Tool Pipeline Inspection Surveys, pipe sizes currently available, 4″ through 36″, with some dual diameter options. Provide Caliper / Geometry Pipeline Inspection Services – pipe size 4″ thru 48″ w/ many Multiple Diameter options. Additionally, Enduro manufactures and supplies a complete ‘suite’ of Pipeline Pigs – pipe sizes 2″ thru 60″ used for cleaning, purging, batching, line fill and de-watering, line dry – pipping products for ‘on stream’ applications plus ‘new construction’ projects. Dual Diameter and Multi-Diameter pigs, chemical cleaning services and technical assistance in support of customer’s business requirements.
- Jump to Henry Green and Cory McConnell in the Transcript
- Ryan Sikes is a Production Manager with NDT Global.
- NDT Global | NDT Global is the leading provider of ultra-high-tech diagnostic inspection solutions, advanced data analysis and integrity assessment services for ensuring the safety and longevity of energy-sector infrastructure assets. Recognized as the forerunner in ultrasonic inspection technologies comprising Pulse Echo, Pitch-and-Catch and Phased Array, as well as Acoustic Resonance (ART Scan) methodologies, the company also deploys a range of non-ultrasonic technologies, such as Inertial Measurement Units, with more under development.
- Jump to Ryan Sikes in the Transcript
- Pipeline & Gas Journal is the essential resource for technology, industry information, and analytical trends in the midstream oil and gas industry. For more information on how to become a subscriber, visit pgjonline.com/subscribe.
- PPIM (Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management Conference & Exhibition) the largest technical exhibition of its kind in the world, designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of utility and in-line inspection pigging.
- Pigging refers to using devices known as “pigs” to perform maintenance operations. This tool associated with inline pipeline inspection has now become known as a Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG)
- Midstream is the processing, storing, transporting and marketing of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.
- Downstream is the process involved in converting oil and gas into the finished product, including refining crude oil into gasoline, natural gas liquids, diesel, and a variety of other energy sources. The closer an oil and gas company is to the process of providing consumers with petroleum products, the further downstream the company is said to be.
- Geotechnical Hazard (Geohazard) is any process that takes place on the earth’s surface that can negatively impact the integrity of a pipeline. (e.g. earthquakes, landslides, subsidence, etc.)
- Integrity Management (IM) (Pipeline Integrity Management) is a systematic approach to operate and manage pipelines in a safe manner that complies with PHMSA regulations.
- ILI (In-line Inspection) is a method to assess the integrity and condition of a pipeline by determining the existence of corrosion, cracks, deformations, or other structural issues that could cause a leak.
- EMAT (Electromagnetic Acoustic Technology) is an advanced non-destructive testing method used throughout the oil and gas industry for the inspection of corrosion, metal loss and other anomalies in pipelines
- RD-6 coating is a non-shielding anti-corrosion system used on buried and submerged line pipe, rehabilitation and new construction girth welds.
- MFL (Magnetic Flux Leakage) is a magnetic non-destructive testing technique used to detect corrosion and pits in steel structures and to accurately measure corrosion damage.
- The Caliper tool uses geometry for inspection. The tool runs sensors along the wall of a pipeline to continuously measures the diameter and report back the data.
- Ultrasonic testing (UT) comprises a range of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques that send ultrasonic waves through an object or material. These high frequency sound waves are transmitted into materials to characterize the material or for flaw detecting.
Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management (PPIM) Full Episode Transcript:
Announcer: The “Pipeline Technology Podcast,” brought to you by “Pipeline & Gas Journal,” the decision making resource for pipeline and midstream professionals. Now, your host, Russel Treat.
Russel Treat: Welcome to the Pipeline Technology Podcast, episode 31. On this episode, we have multiple guests from multiple companies because this episode is all about conversations from the floor of the trade show at Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management.
Russel: Cedric, great to meet you. Just for the listeners, we’re here on the floor of Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management. Cedric, why don’t you tell us who you’re with and what you guys do? We’ll start there.
Cedric Oudinot: It sounds good. Good morning, Russel. I’m Cedric Oudinot. I’m the President of CSNRI. What we do is effectively solve integrity challenges that our pipeline operators and customers are facing every day, using engineered composite solutions. That’s our primary purpose.
Our target market is what we define as the critical infrastructure. That encompasses the overall energy infrastructure, if you will, from the separation facilities, midstream, pipelines obviously, all the way to downstream, refineries, assets, tanks, terminals.
Any type of corrosion threats, type of cracks that are part of their integrity management program, we’ll try to address them through design engineered solutions with our composites.
Russel: I’m sitting here in the booth, and I’m watching, you guys have some cool videos here, and some awesome displays. What do you think about PPIM this year? It seems to me that it’s like we’re back in business.
Cedric: For sure, Russel. As for the story, I joined this company three years ago. My first PPIM was literally when COVID was ruling over the world. Everybody was expecting…
Russel: Hammering the breaks at that time.
Cedric: It was. Truly, it was very poorly attended. That’s been effectively the case since then. This is the first year I see a true revival. Everybody is there, operators there, the full community is back, and it’s great to see.
Russel: I absolutely agree. The energy level is back to what I remember prior to COVID. I’m seeing that pretty much everywhere I’m going. Business is back, which is great.
Cedric: Absolutely right.
Russel: What are you guys presenting or talking about this year that’s new or different? What interesting problems are you working to solve these days?
Cedric: Russel, the interesting thing is composites are nothing new. We’ve been around with various names and technologies for over 30 years in the industry. What we do is continue to invest in material science, formulation development, but more importantly, in application testing and engineering.
When customers have issues with crack management, we’ve started designing solutions for them, and then joint industry programs, or JIPs, to demonstrate that our solutions were effectively valid for these specific applications.
We stress test everything we do at a much greater magnitude than you’d see in the field to make sure that everybody’s reassured, from the regulators to the pipeline operators, of course.
Russel: To me, in this world of pipelining, one of the funnest things we ever get to do is break stuff. There’s not very many opportunities to do that. It sounds like that’s a key part of your business, is making sure you understand what the limits of the repairs are through destructive testing.
Cedric: That’s exactly right. We’ve got a lot of predictive modeling and, of course, material science extension that will predict when things break. We like to break things to make sure the models are accurate. That’s going to be an ongoing validation.
You’re right, we have a lot of fun breaking pipes with various defects. It’s quite amazing when you see a hydro-test that goes boom, and you’re right next to it, obviously, in a safe space, but nevertheless, the impact that you hear is just overwhelming.
Russel: In my military training, we call that a significant emotional event.
Cedric: That’s exactly what it feels like.
Russel: It’s shocking even when it’s planned.
Cedric: You never quite know when it happens. You’re never quite ready. When you go back there, it’s all depressurized. You look at a piece of metal that’s pretty thick that’s laying almost flat open, and then the composite rings are still intact. It makes you think that’s why we fly in composite aircraft these days. There’s a lot less challenges around this when you’ve seen it destructive.
Russel: The things we can do with materials these days in terms of strength, it’s incredible. Are you guys presenting any white papers or presentations this year?
Cedric: Yeah, we do. We’ve got two white papers or technical presentations, one on Thursday. The topic is, how do we model composite applications for colonies of cracks, what we call SSC? That’s an interesting extension. We’ve done a lot of crack repairs over the years. This is expanding the scope to colonies of cracks. That’s why it’s called from one to many.
Then, the other one is, effectively, how have we done geohazard mitigation for some of our operators in North America? We’ve really evaluated the composite solutions under a variety of testing, HL, bending loads, to try to, again, simulate the geohazard type of environment and stress that the pipeline’s structures are under in some geohazard risk areas.
Russel: I’m not an integrity guy, but having done this podcast now for a while, I notionally understand it. Certainly, geohazards and things like rock dense, bending, strain, slope strain, all that stuff is very top of mind for integrity management and integrity engineer folks.
Cedric: Absolutely. That’s been one of the big topics in the industry. We picked it up about three years ago. We started designing around these types of different traces. We’ve invested a lot in third party testing and validation. Again, part of JIPs and some of them are proprietary with operators as well.
Russel: Awesome. Look, great to meet you. Good luck on the show. I hope that half these people come by and talk to you guys, and you’ll have a great show.
Cedric: Yeah, absolutely not. We’re happy to be here. Thanks, Russel, for stopping by.
Russel: Thank you.
Russel: Tommy, great to see you here at PPIM.
Tommy Precht: It’s good to be here.
Russel: Great to see the folks listening. Tell me, what is it that Allan Edwards does? What do you do for Allan Edwards?
Tommy: I’m a senior sales executive, been here since 2014. We’re primarily a pipeline repair company. We manufacture steel repair sleeves. We have two new products that we’re featuring here at the show this year.
We have a composite, what is called OmegaWrap. We have a carbon and an e-glass system. Then we have the new compression sleeve, which is a heat inductor compression sleeve to put pipelines and compression for crack-like features.
Russel: How long have y’all been coming to PPIM?
Tommy: Allan Edwards, probably since I’ve been here. I had to count. Of course, COVID threw me off, probably threw all of us. I would think if I really calculated, this could be my maybe close to 15th year at the PPIM. I don’t even know how long PPiM has been around.
Russel: How long has Allan Edwards been around?
Tommy: 1947. We’ve had our 75th birthday last year, so we’re working on our 76th this year. I don’t very often meet a company older than me. To me, it sounds really unique too, it’s fourth generation run in a comp. Plus, we’re very unique.
Russel: Interesting sidebar. I did a podcast recently that spoke directly to staffing challenges and closely held multi generational family businesses, because there’s a lot of those in our industry. We developed this very unique expertise that we have to retain and move forward. When a company specialized like Allan Edwards gets bought by a bigger company, that tends to disappear.
Tommy: It does.
Russel: Anyways, a sidebar. I wanted to talk to you about your compression sleeve. We were walking by your display over here, interesting. The compression sleeve, that looks like it’s a new concept in repair technology. Tell us a little bit about that and how it works.
Tommy: Technology has been around for some time. What makes ours unique, basically, it’s a half sole repair sleeve, a typical type A or type B sleeve. What makes this one unique in itself and the technology part of it is basically we heat the sleeve. We use induction heating to be able to heat that sleeve. With that heat, we get some growth.
Once that growth is achieved in the sleeve, we tack weld it once you get all your heating equipment off of it and fully weld it out. When it cools, it puts that pipe in compression, so if you have a crack-like feature, what you’re trying to achieve is to mitigate that crack from growing.
Russel: How long has that compression idea been around? Is that new?
Tommy: No, the compression parts have been around for a while. What makes ours pretty unique is that we use the heat induction, is…
Russel: Tell me about that. What is heat induction, and how’s that different?
Tommy: The heat induction is just different from an open flame. The heat induction here, what you want to do is you need that delta. You need the heat difference between the sleeve and the pipe. You need a quick heat into the sleeve.
You don’t want that heat to penetrate down in the pipe. If you do that, the pipe will expand with the sleeve. The real trick of it is getting that heat in there precisely so you can keep that delta, the temperature differences between the sleeve and the carrier pipe.
Russel: This supports the notion I always have. Everything’s easy until you know enough about it.
Tommy: What I really like about the heat induction, and to me, the primary thing, is number one, you get to heat precisely, but you have a controllable and measurable heat process through the lining. All this takes place in a few minutes. It’s not very long, drawn out.
We take cold gap measurements before we start. Once we get the heating process done, we take what we call hot gap measurements so we can make sure that we’ve achieved that growth, and it is welded out.
Russel: Interesting. You’re engineering the compression. You’re targeting a specific amount of compressions so you get not too much, not too little.
Tommy: What is really unique, too, is that, of course, people a lot smarter than I developed a calculator to be able to help take that pipe data, the flow, everything is considered, and it calculates so you know precisely where you need to get it at.
Russel: That thing, to me, Tommy, is it’s really fascinating. Not being an integrity guy, it’s really easy to look at some of these things, just look at it and you think you understand what the science behind it is. Then I have a conversation with somebody like yourself, I realize I don’t know hardly anything at all about this stuff. It’s really awesome.
Tommy: Another neat feature I also like about it is you have pipe laminations. Sometimes if you want to go in and you’ve got a pipe that maybe you need to put a three foot sleeve on, you have to build to have a good clean spot to land that well. We have to do some lamination in some pipes.
Sometimes people are forced to put more of a sleeve on than that’s required for corrosion areas simply because they need to land those wells. The idea behind this is that you can come in, place that over your feature, you don’t have to worry about the end wells, and place it in there. Crack like features and some lamination seems to be a real good sweet spot for this.
Russel: Interesting. What other repair technologies…?
Tommy: Obviously, we have sleeves that’ve been around since forever. We’re a 75 year old company. Typical type A, or what I refer to as tight fitting sleeves, has been around a long time. The newest thing that we have when it comes to integrity is the composite where we handle a product called OmegaWrap.
There is an e glass system, which is a fiberglass, and then a carbon material. They’re pretty common. Composites now have been around for a very long time.
Russel: That’s a technology that’s evolving very quickly. We’re learning more and more every day about how to get strength into the composites by the materials we’re using, the epoxies, the resins, how we’re wrapping, how we’re displacing the fibers, and all that type of thing.
Tommy: I spent 14 years in a composite business before I came to Allan Edwards. It’s really neat to see. I was with the development of a product then, and it is really fascinating to see that technology changes even in fabric. The epoxies are so much different than what they were that many years ago.
Russel: It’s amazing to me how much strength you can build up. The other thing that’s interesting is you could build up strength in one direction with almost no strength in another direction.
Tommy: That’s correct.
Russel: Very fascinating, those technologies.
Tommy: With OmegaWrap was a specialized testing for rainfall bands and geohazard situations, girth welds. It’s not just being limited. We first started in this business a long time ago, it was small dents and corrosion.
That’s another thing that’s really transpired a whole lot in the industry, is being able to go out and test different features. A company has a specific issue with their pipeline, they can come into our place, test it, prove it in the lab, and then go on and attack those anomalies.
Russel: Awesome. It’s great to see you here. Great to be at PPIM and see everybody out there.
Tommy: Honestly, this is my favorite show. I like it because you get the high end people in companies, down to the people that’s making the decisions.
Russel: This is where the pipeline integrity community is.
Tommy: It is.
Russel: Worldwide, this is the place to be.
Tommy: What I’m starting to realize is a lot of these faces I’ve been seeing for a long time. It’s really neat.
Russel: You and me both, Tommy. You and I both.
Tommy: Appreciate it. Thank you.
Russel: Thank you for your time…
Tommy: Thank you.
Russel: Jacques, so good to see you here at PPIM.
Jacques Nicol: Great to be here.
Russel: Is this your first time to be on a podcast?
Jacques: It is.
Russel: We’re doing it while we’re standing on the floor in a booth, there’s people walking around with cameras, and people looking at us. No pressure at all.
Jacques: None. No.
Russel: Are you comfortable? Are you ready to go?
Jacques: Oh yeah.
Russel: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do at TDW.
Jacques: I’m responsible for our integrity business in the Canadian market, and our relationships with some of our major accounts.
Russel: What do you think about PPIM this year?
Jacques: It’s great. It’s great to see everybody. There’s a lot more people here than the last time, which was in 2020. That was the last time I was here before the world went crazy, of course. There’s a lot more companies here supporting a great event. This is our 35th year.
Russel: Wow. That’s awesome. For those that don’t know – everybody in the pipeline space got to know what TDW does, so I’m going to assume they don’t and I’ll give you a couple minutes – what’s your TDW pitch? What are you guys here promoting and talking about at PPIM?
Jacques: TDW is a pipeline maintenance and integrity company. We work on pipelines. We help customers keep their lines in operation. We prevent bad things from happening. That’s what we’re best known for, integrity. Everybody’s got a twist on inspecting lines. We have ours and we’ve got some great technology.
What we’re here talking about this year is more of our analytic and advanced reporting options. The market is really recognizing what we’re doing. We’re seeing a lot of new clients and faces because of it.
Russel: Certainly, the tools just in terms of their capabilities and the amount of data they can pick up, it’s increasing exponentially. The techniques we’ve used historically to analyze and process that data are becoming just really unmanageable, I would say. You have to have tools now to manage the data. You can’t just do it the way we used to do it.
Jacques: 100 percent agree. If you have a particular threat, one or all of us can do some of the more conventional inspection types, metaloss and some geometry. When we get into some more intricate threats to manage, you need to look for solutions that are in place.
We’ve really looked to try to carve out that niche. That’s more the market that we play in now, is more of the advanced analytics and assessment.
Russel: I know, certainly, for some of the older pipeline systems, the big topic is combined threats. Looking at dents, cracks, corrosion in combination, and what does that mean given the service, and all that stuff. Certainly, there are lots of opportunities there. What I know about data management is every time you add one more thing you’re looking at, it’s a root function.
Russel: You’re getting exponentially more complex, not just a step function, more complex.
Jacques: Interactive threats are something that we pride ourselves in being able to help you manage. The severity of a threat becomes exponentially more dangerous, and hopefully, is managed that much more diligently.
When you have a dent and you have corrosion, or you have mechanical damage, and that dent happens to be re rounded, then there’s…That might have a crack. To be able to see that in one pass with a tool is a benefit.
Russel: No doubt. Are you guys doing white papers or presentations this year?
Jacques: We have five presentations being presented by our data science and our integrity engineering team. We have a presentation on inline inspection and dent data presented by Dr. Mike Kirkwood.
We have a presentation on determining restraint for dents measured by ILI that’s being done by Jonathan Hardy. Then minimizing the air and corrosion growth rate estimation from box to signal matching is a very interesting presentation being done by Jonathan Hardy and Jed Ludlow.
Then there’s going to be a validating selective seam weld corrosion classification using ILI technology. That’s being done by a team of ours, Matt Romney, Dane Burden, and Ron Lundstrom. That’s particularly interesting because we’ve just recently released a selector seam weld corrosion specification. We’re being considered for the ILI award.
Then we have a presentation coming up on EMAT lessons learned using direct assessment findings, which I’m involved in that one as well. That is a presentation on best practices and the findings from field assessments after an ILI program that we’ve run with a close customer.
Russel: Of that list, all of which I find fascinating, that’s the one that’s probably more my cup of tea.
Jacques: The crack subject is near and dear to my heart as well. It’s good right now, but it’s going to prompt a lot of discussion on how we need to get better as an industry.
Russel: Anytime you’re correlating what you’re getting off an ILI run to what you’re doing in a dig program, and trying to correlate those results, that thing is fascinating to me, because the difficulty is in the correlation. You’re going to be looking at the same pipe with the same features, but the data is not going to be the same.
Russel: It’s like, how do I interpret that? There’s gold and then there are hills.
Jacques: That’s what we’re doing from a white paper standpoint. We had our integrity users group meeting yesterday, and it was well attended. Great engagement from the participants and the presenters. They did a great job.
It’s an operator driven users’ group primarily surrounding our MBS platform and EMAT. They presented the good, the bad and the ugly, and had a really good, broad conversation about what’s going well and where some things can improve. It was a great meeting.
Russel: It’s always fun when you get a bunch of engineers in a room.
Russel: Jacques, this is great. You guys obviously have a lot going on at PPIM this year. Best wishes for a great show. Thanks for taking some time out to talk to us.
Jacques: Great talking to you, Russ. Thank you.
Russel: Take care.
Russel: Hey, RJ. Welcome to the Pipeline Technology Podcast.
RJ Labrador: Sure thing. Thank you for having me on this.
Russel: RJ and I are sitting here at PPIM. I’m just going to start asking you, who are you with? What do you guys do? We’ll just start there.
RJ: Sure thing. First off, my name is RJ Labrador, which is just like the dog. To avoid any confusion, I always end up with folks who think they’re offending me by asking about that. I work for a company called Polyguard. Polyguard has been supportive of the PPIM show since its inception.
Russel: I asked that question earlier. When did PPIM start?
RJ: 16 years ago. Is that…?
Russel: It sounds about right.
RJ: Chic Hughes has been a long proponent of this show. He’s had some good actual sales from the show, or meetings that have generated sales. We’ve been a supporter of PPIM for as long as it’s been around, basically.
Russel: Awesome. Tell us, for those that don’t know, not everybody listening to this is an integrity management person, what does Polyguard do?
RJ: Yes, sir. The bread and butter for Polyguard is our RD-6 coating. Here at PPIM, there isn’t much in the way of corrosion coating products on display or booth. Polyguard saw that as an opportunity. Our product is a bitumen based material, in that there’s a primer that goes on the pipe, and then the RD-6 is a tape-like product that wraps around it. We saw PPIM as a prime opportunity to show our product and generate sales from that going forward.
Russel: Cool. What are you seeing at PPIM this year that’s new or different?
RJ: To be honest with you, I haven’t been able to walk the aisles so much. It’s good to see all the people, and we’ve plenty of foot traffic. That’s what’s kept me in the booth and not see a whole lot that’s going around. I will say there is a lot of interest in rehabilitation products such as ours for coatings to be used on the pipe for corrosion coatings.
Russel: Interesting. Talk about what is a rehabilitation coating versus construction type coating.
RJ: Yes, sir. What happens is, the companies that use pigging, they’ll find an anomaly in the pipe per se, for example, and they’ll find that it needs to be re-covered or repaired somehow. They need to replace that coating. They’ll come to us and ask what our recommendation is.
Of course, we’re going to present our RD-6, how easy it is to apply, and how quick to service they can bring the pipe or whatever asset it is back to service. It works out pretty well for us.
Russel: Awesome. You said your company has been coming since inception, and that you’re one of the few coating vendors here at PPIM. I find that interesting. Why the long term commitment here versus the other places you might go?
RJ: We’ve been unique here. Now, there are a few more coating companies that are here.
Russel: Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this. We don’t want to let the word out.
RJ: Like I said, it’s been good for us. We see a lot of asset owners that are familiar with the product, or they want to introduce our product to some of their colleagues. They see us here, and it’s a prime opportunity for us to discuss when we do
Russel: I think one of the things I like about PPIM is it’s a very technical show. If you look at the agenda and the topics that are being presented, you almost need to be a PhD engineer just to understand some of these presentations.
It’s this interesting combination of very technical, it’s also very hands on though, because there’s lots of displays and lots of opportunities to see how things actually work in practice in the field. You guys have a cool little device here that shows how you apply your coating in the field neat. I actually think I could figure out how to work that.
RJ: There are people that think they know how it runs. Some people don’t realize that it’s still a manual process to apply it, but that machine aids in the manual application of our RD-6. As you can see from our pipe here, it’s put on with a consistent overlap. It’s put on with a consistent tension, and that’s what we require for our product to be applied properly.
Russel: Yeah, it’s a lot of things. There’s a lot of details, there’s a lot of technical specificity into how you do these things. You can take a good coating and apply it in a poor way, and you get a poor coating.
Anyways, this kind of stuff is just fascinating to me. I’m steep on the learning curve when I come to PPIM. Anything else you want to talk about? What’s new with what you guys are doing at Polyguard?
RJ: We were always asked about what new products we’re coming out with. We have revamped our line of epoxy coatings. Some acid owners refuse to use tape-like products. They turn their heads when they see RD-6. They’ll come to us and talk to us, or we’ll talk to them about our epoxies.
In addition to that, some of our longtime users are seeing applications for higher temp applications. We do have a higher temp version of our RD-6. There are other applications that we haven’t really considered for either of these products. It’s always good to talk to customers about those applications as well.
Russel: Again, that’s one of the things that’s great about PPIM, is people will walk up and they’ll ask you those questions, right?
RJ: Yes, sir.
Russel: You never know what question you’re going to get asked, I suspect.
Russel: RJ, I appreciate you coming on. This is awesome. Good luck here at the show. I’ll just say for myself, I’m just glad to see everybody out and back to doing what we were doing before the whole COVID debacle.
RJ: Likewise. We’re picking up where we left off from a few years ago, and things have been steady through here.
Russel: Thank you very much.
RJ: Thank you, Russel.
Henry Green & Cory McConnell
Russel: Henry, Cory, thanks for sitting down with me here at Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management. I’ve been talking to a number of folks at the show. Before we dive in, you guys are with Enduro. What is Enduro promoting at PPIM this year?
Henry Green: We come out every year to give an overview of our offerings, which are just from start to beginning. We encourage pipeline cleaning. We have a host of different options for that progressive cleaning program, something less aggressive to the more aggressive side, which might display some scaling or some other impact portions you have in your pipeline.
With that, once you’ve got a clean pipeline, it gives us the opportunity to go in and measure any geometric features we have in the pipeline system itself. All that’s for the purposes of coming back through and inspecting the pipeline to give the operator a good breadth overview of their pipeline system.
Whether that’s metal loss, whether they’ve got dents or expansions for that matter, or a combination of those, just so they can maximize the life of their pipeline asset, along with just making educated decisions about their pipeline system.
Russel: Cory, anything to add? What are you seeing? Have you guys had a chance to walk around and visit with some customers? What’s the buzz at PPIM?
Cory McConnell: To be honest, I’ve been in the classes a lot, so I haven’t had a chance to walk around a lot. There’s some good equipment around. One new thing we have is this portable tray intended for launching our cleaning equipment. We make them in various sizes. We can custom build them to whatever our clients require.
Russel: Cory was taking me around a little bit earlier. I’m not an ILI guy. I’m not an integrity guy, but I know enough about it to be dangerous. He was explaining to me, I know what an MFL tool does and how it works, but I’ve never seen one. Cory is showing me how the flux is generated, picked up, and all that stuff. I’m learning stuff walking around you all’s booth. It’s pretty cool.
Henry: That’s what it’s all about. We just come out and educate some of the operators. What’s really good about these shows is the fact that there are young engineers that come through, just out of college, and a lot of them are getting a feel…
A lot of times when they go and work for operators, they get a feel for the pipeline safety, which is a major part of what they do for the company itself and the pipeline, along with not having any bad press and then, of course, keeping their product which is their moneymaker in the line, and keeping everybody safe.
Not to mention, not avoiding anything getting close to the loss of life or environmental sort of thing. It’s a good show, always has been. I’ve been here over 20 years, but it’s always really good. Something to learn. Definitely, for young engineers, I would recommend it.
Russel: I would say it’s for old engineers, too. I’m an old engineer, I’m here and I’m learning some stuff. One of the things I like about PPIM is all of the vendors are really interested in showing and teaching. There’s a lot to be learned here.
The displays, you guys got a big display here, lots of equipment. It creates a lot of opportunity to walk people through and say, “Well, this is how this works.” Being able to lay your hands on it in a clean environment like this versus in a shop, in a ditch, at a launch, or something like that, it’s just a different experience, and you can dig in in a different way.
You guys have an awesome booth here. If you were going to take me around, what would you show me here that you think is really way cool?
Henry: The cool portion is the different options of the cleaning pigs themselves, so many things. We can only showcase just a limited amount, but the fact that we can talk about the fact that we can customize those options interchangeably, and from the size that they can go.
We’ve got some smaller ones to show, but then we’ve got a large one on display that’s sitting on our customized tray here. That’s pretty cool. We do like to talk to people about the inline inspection portion that has the MFL, the residual along with the caliper.
Russel: What’s the residual?
Cory: It measures the residual magnetic field left in the pipe after the MFL section has passed.
Russel: What is that able to tell you?
Henry: The benefit of that, of the residual portion is, like Cory said, measuring that drop off. What you’re looking for is either foreign material, such as pedal wheels in the system, just a foreign type of material. If the properties of that material are brittle, that would allow for a higher risk factor for the pipeline.
That brittle portion and not being able to at least cycle just a little would create a failure point. The residual field helps with that. Also, just by having that bit of information, if there is an anomaly that’s found in the tool itself, then it just helps to better classify that anomaly.
Russel: That all sounds very interesting. One of the challenges for engineers that are not integrity folks is just you guys have a lot of language you use that’s very specific when you talk about anomalies, defects, and all those types of things. Those all mean very specific things to integrity guys.
I’m not going to try and decompose all of that. I conceptually get what you’re talking about. It’s just allowing you guys, with that residual, to pick up some additional information to really check the integrity of the tool and look for foreign matters. Is that the basics of it?
Henry: That is the gist of it. What you’re doing with this tool is you’re looking at that anomaly. What we are seeing in the anomaly is that it’s just not supposed to be there. There’s a reason for concern. If you’re looking at metal loss, and then you’re adding on layers of inspection itself, right at that point, the industry allows for different tools to be run at different times.
When you can capture it all at the same time, and have that data set so that our analysts can take a look, right there, based in the same location, there’s so much information that can be drawn from that. It allows the operator to make, again, educated decisions about what they’re going to do with their pipeline.
They may take that information, use it, and make some later comparison, understand the corrosion growth, or how that anomaly has changed over time, or they know they need to go in right there at that specific location, the distance from a known location.
Whether that be a girth weld, an off take, or a valve itself, the orientation itself, we’re giving that information so that they can locate that problem, have another group come in, excavate, do some measurements before they begin to change anything in their system.
Most of the time, that anomaly is there in some form or fashion. Then, it just allows the operator to go in, rehab that section, and make it safer, too.
Russel: Listen, I’m always fascinated by this stuff. I think you guys are to be commended by just the investment you make to be here. Certainly, PPIM is a great place. I wish you guys a good show. I hope we continue to see this kind of activity going forward into future years. It’s nice to see everybody back.
Henry: Very good. Thanks for having us.
Russel: Thank you, guys.
Russel: Hey, Ryan. Good to see you again, man.
Ryan Sikes: Hey, Russel. Nice to see you.
Russel: We are here at PPIM. We’re standing in the NDT booth. What is new and different for you at PPIM this year?
Ryan: Lots of new and exciting things. This year, we’ve actually showcased a couple of our new technologies, our PROTON phased array service, as well as our new e tech geohazard solution. Really excited about these this year.
Russel: I got to tell the listeners, they have really cool displays with fancy flashing colored LEDs. It’s really awesome.
Ryan: 3D printing has come a long way, right? It’s really neat.
Russel: Tell us a little bit about your tool. Just talk about the phased array first.
Ryan: The phased array tool, we call it our PROTON, which is a really fun name. It’s really what the industry has been asking for. It’s the next level of crack detection. It is phased array. We have a variety of different angles that we utilize for it, different shot scenarios.
Also, it has the ability to detect and measure cracks at a very precise level. We also have some abilities with scene geometry or welding geometry, able to compensate for some of that. Really exciting new cutting edge technology that works out…
Russel: Are you actually able to get crack depth and crack angles, so you can actually see the depth of the crack, the shape of the crack, and the whole thing?
Ryan: Yeah. Because we have a very similar to a compression wave signal as well, we’re able to actually get a local wall thickness which provides the ability to really profile that crack.
Russel: That’s fascinating. How new is this tool? How many runs have you done with it so far?
Ryan: The development started in, I believe, about 2017. We actually released the tool from a commercial perspective this year.
Russel: Brand spanking new.
Ryan: Brand spanking new, yeah. We’ve got a 24 inch diameter right now. We’re scaling up to 30 inches, going to be moving up to 34 and 36 as well.
Russel: I’ve said this many times, I’ve been walking around talking to people, I’m not an integrity guy, but I know enough to know that’s a very important development for our industry.
Ryan: It is.
Russel: Lots of interest in cracks at the moment. There’s a lot going on there, being able to get good accurate measurements is key, and then you have to use that to understand how to assess the impact of that crack. You can’t really do that well without good measurements upfront.
Ryan: Right. What PROTON really enables is that additional layer of clarity. With the various signals and measurements we use, provides that additional layer that gives real clear, precise information on the cracks.
Russel: Interesting. Tell us about the geohazards tool.
Ryan: The ETEC Geohazards actually the newest of them all.
Russel: It’s newer than the PROTON?
Ryan: Yeah, so it’s actually not even released yet.
Russel: Oh my God. I need to go touch it so I can shine off of it a little bit.
Ryan: Some great 3D printing there as well in that model. We have a tool that we’re utilizing for validation right now, and that’s in 24 inch. What the tool is essentially, it’s a straining tool. We’re able to measure and detect strain. We provide what we call a biaxial strain measurement.
What we’re doing is we’re taking the longitudinal strain, which is the axial component, as well as the bending strength component, but we also have the circumferential strain or the hoop strain as well. It provides that total strain in a real accurate picture of the strain that the pipeline’s in.
Russel: That’s fascinating as well, because again, it’s an area that our industry needs development.
Russel: When do you expect that tool to start being available for commercial runs?
Ryan: Right now, we’ve got a tool that we’re doing some validation with. We’re pursuing those validation runs. We’re expecting to have a full commercial offering mid to late next year, so mid to late 2024.
Russel: Awesome. I would think the customer should be getting on your schedule now.
Ryan: Yeah, and many are. There’s a lot of excitement around it. Again, just like with PROTON, it’s something the industry has been asking for, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re answering the needs of the industry.
Russel: You know this very well, but the challenge anytime you bring a new technology out is, I get all this new data, now I need the policies, the procedures, the algorithms to actually deal with the data and do something meaningful with it.
Ryan: We’ve got a lot of really smart people that are dedicated to doing that. It’s really unique with the e tech technology because it’s an eddy current based technology. NDT global, we are an expert in UT, so the PROTON, although very challenging and complex, really still falls within the umbrella of UT. We understand how those signals work. We understand how the analysis works.
With eddy current, it’s been an adventure learning and implementing all these processes, but we’ve leveraged our sister companies, which is Edify who are our absolute experts in eddy current. We’ve got some really smart scientists and engineers behind us that are really pushing things to the cutting edge.
Russel: Well, clearly, and I do like your 3D printing. I got to say, of the booths that I’ve walked around, and no disrespect to anybody else I’ve talked to because there’s a lot of cool stuff here, but your stuff is particularly flashy. I’ll just say that.
Ryan: Yeah, it is. We’ve got a great marketing team. They are incredible.
Russel: It also helps people what you’ve done particularly with the PROTON tool, yeah, it’s cool and it’s flashy, but you’ve really set it up so people can understand what it’s doing and how it’s working. There’s a lot of education available. I think I have a whole different understanding of how these tools work just seeing the stuff you guys are doing.
Ryan: It’s easy to get in the weeds on some of the technology.
Russel: That’s the whole fun of the job. We want to get in the weeds.
Ryan: Yeah. We don’t want to get too far that we bore people or talk over people’s heads with it. Our displays, we have the animations that are really simplified and explain it in terms that people can understand.
Russel: Yeah. Well, I like getting in the weeds, but I like to start with a simple understanding.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.
Russel: That’s always helpful because that way, we might not get lost in the weeds.
Ryan: Right, right.
Russel: Anyways, look, Ryan, great to talk to you. Thank you for everything and good luck for a great PPIM…
Ryan: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Russel.
Russel: I hope you enjoyed this month’s episode of the Pipeline Technology Podcast, our conversations from PPIM. If you’d like to support this podcast, please leave us a review wherever you happen to listen. You can find instructions at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com.
If there’s a Pipeline & Gas Journal article where you’d like to hear from the author, please let me know, either on the Contact Us page at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com, or reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening, I’ll talk to you next month.
Transcription by CastingWords