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T.D. Williamson wins ASME Global Pipeline award

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

T.D. Williamson (TDW) received the prestigious Global Pipeline Award, presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) on 25 October at Rio Pipeline 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The annual award recognises pipeline innovation and the value a company’s contributions bring to the pipeline industry.

ASME honoured TDW for its groundbreaking Mechanical Damage Prioritisation via the Multiple Dataset (MDS) Platform. The MDS platform is unsurpassed in its ability to detect, characterise, size and prioritise interacting threats to pipeline integrity, such as mechanical damage. By integrating multiple inline inspection (ILI) technologies on a single platform and synchronising the data they gather, MDS provides comprehensive information about features previously undetected by other ILI tools.

James Simek, and the TDW Engineering team, innovated and led development of the MDS Platform. As a participant in the design and data analysis of several generations of magnetic flux leakage (MFL) tools, Simek had observed the strengths and weaknesses of each individual tool design and accompanying data sets.

“Several incidents and subsequent regulatory initiatives focused on mechanical damage highlighted the need for an improved ILI process,” Simek said. “Existing ILI tools were generally capable of reporting some aspects of damage; however, limitations of tool designs and data sets limited prioritisation.”

TDW’s goal was to bring pipeline operators a solution that would overcome the threat detection gaps of single MFL-based tools. That was accomplished by having multiple field orientations and field strengths on the same inspection platform.

The MDS Platform was introduced in 2010.

TDW’s innovative prioritisation process leverages all datasets on the MDS Platform and builds upon prior Battelle and PRCI research from the late 1990s and early 2000s. As a result of these significant advancements, conclusive characterisation of mechanical damage features is now a reality.

Chuck Harris, TDW Product Line Director, Integrated Pigging and Pipeline Integrity Solutions, said receiving this kind of industry recognition is extremely humbling and gratifying, particularly given the high calibre of the 17 entries vying for the award this year.

Equally rewarding are the results MDS is generating for customers.

“By using the MDS Platform to improve characterisation and prioritisation of mechanical damage, versus exploratory techniques, one customer eliminated a vast number of unnecessary excavations,” Harris said. “The result is substantial cost savings and eliminating uncertainty over whether the most critical mechanical damage had been mitigated.”

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