Many of the problems related to the health of pipes in the petroleum and petrochemical industries are caused by corrosion and erosion; thus, it is important to know the state of corrosion and erosion in pipes from the viewpoint of health monitoring. However, knowing the condition of pipes in a plant is a challenge because of the enormous number of pipes, the difficulty in accessing them, and the reliance on manual inspection.
Yokogawa is developing noncontact pipe defect monitoring technology that contributes to the health monitoring of pipes. This system offers constant pipe monitoring for defects by installing sensors capable of noncontact measurement in the pipes at the customer's plant and connecting them to a wireless network. At Yokogawa, we believe that this can contribute to the health monitoring of the pipes of their customers.
Proof of Concept
Yokogawa developed a prototype sensor that conducts noncontact measurements of pipe defects using the magnetic field around the pipe, and demonstrated the "proof of concept" at a customer's plant. The following is an example of such a proof of concept. The figure below shows the magnetic field around the pipe measured by our sensor and the position and depth of a defect calculated from the magnetic field. Through ultrasonic inspection, Yokogawa was able to confirm that the magnetic field sensor succeeded in noncontact detection of the defect in the pipe.
Vision for the Future
Yokogawa believes it can offer the following value to customers with its pipe defect monitoring system.
Reduction of life cycle costs
Regular monitoring of pipe defects makes it possible to predict the life of the pipes. Consequently, appropriate action can be taken on deteriorating pipes. In addition, by examining the operational period during which the trend in pipe defects changed, it is also possible to take more rigorous measures by locating the root cause of the pipe deterioration.
Improved plant productivity
Regular monitoring of pipe defects and predicting the life of pipes can prevent emergency stops and minimize the time spent on periodic repairs. Moreover, a more effective operation can be realized by optimizing operating parameters related to pipe defects.