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Exploring specialised robotic equipment

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

With today’s technology, contractors can continuously update the pipeline owner on the coating project status, says Kristopher Kemper, Technical Services Consultant, Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), USA.

In the world of pipelines, there are many corrosion control challenges that, if not adequately addressed, can result in a breach of pipeline integrity ranging from ‘small’ to catastrophic failures. This article addresses one of those challenge areas: internal field joint coatings.

Throughout the world, internal pipeline coatings are used to protect both onshore and offshore pipelines from corrosion. Most often, 40 ft (12 m) pipe sections are first factory-coated, transported to a project location, and then welded together onsite. At this point, specialised robotic coating equipment is often required to perform coating of the pipeline’s internal field joints and inspection of the cured coating. With properly calibrated equipment and a well-documented and detailed quality programme, this specialised equipment can easily clean, coat and inspect 40 field welds in one day.

The key to effective project planning for internal pipeline field joint coatings is including the use of specialised robotic equipment in project specifications. Specialised robotic equipment designed and used specifically for internal pipeline field joint coatings can ensure a high-quality coated field joint when the equipment is properly calibrated and aligned with other elements of the project specification. With the Association for Materials Protection and Performance’s (AMPP) qualification procedure (QP) programme, certified coating contractors using specialised robotic equipment can more effectively and efficiently work within a project specification and use the proper quality checks throughout a coating project. These certified coating contractors can demonstrate quality process control, management procedures, safety, health, and environmental compliance competence.

Specialised robotic equipment has progressed over the years. Legacy equipment was fashioned from robotic internal pipeline weld X-ray equipment, and equipment size constraints forced pipeline owners to use a minimum size of 8 in. pipe. Today, high-quality internal field joint coating equipment can provide solutions to many challenges. With quality monitoring of several metrics, pipeline as small as 6 in. can be coated and inspected …

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US pipeline news Digitilisation news