Software introduced for EMI of pipe

July 13, 2004

PITCO™, a division of Scan Systems Corp., has introduced DIGI-PRO™ electromagnetic inspection (EMI) software for the pipe industry. The software is designed to be either an integral part of the company's line of DIGI-TECH™ inspection equipment or a digital conversion kit for existing analog EMI units.

When installed as a conversion kit, the software converts the analog signal received from the standard search-coil inspection shoe into a digital format. The signal is processed digitally by the company's proprietary SIMKARDZ™ technology, which amplifies, filters, and buffers the incoming signal. The system displays the real-time inspection progression on a computer monitor.

At any point in any inspection station, the operator can stop the pipe conveyor system, reverse the action, and the software's chart will display the actual position and condition of the pipe at any given position.

The operator controls the inspection at a console, which includes the computer, monitor, and electronic control panel. As flaw indications exceeding accepted standards are detected by the software, the operator is alerted with visual and audible alarms. Flaws can be pinpointed to within a few inches, the company says.

One-screen presentation allows the operator to watch all inspection points as the pipe passes through each station. An optical encoder system automatically initiates the inspection of each joint as it enters the first inspection point and records the joint's length as it exits the last inspection point. The system identifies the linear position where a flaw exists. An incorporated automatic paint marking system visually marks the joint for additional inspection after completing the inspection.

Size, weight, wall, and grade calibration information is stored in the database from previous inspection runs. With each new job, the operator chooses from the Cal-Mem feature that stores previously saved setups or creates a one-time entry. The system reduces times associated with changing the inspection head, verifying settings, and running a test calibration joint.

Information accumulated during inspection is recorded in the software's database, eliminating paper strip charts; condensing storage to a digital file; and providing more information on automatically generated reports, which can be printed or transmitted electronically.

The system replaces gamma radiation inspection with magnetic flux reading of the pipe's magnetic properties. It provides a 360-degree, 100 percent coverage of the pipe wall at any specific area on the length of the pipe, the company says.

The system is designed to inspect material with a minimum OD of 1.315 in. (33.4 mm) to 14 in. (355.60 mm). It has a wall thickness range from 0.125 in. (3.175 mm) to 0.700 in. (17.6 mm).