Bureau Veritas, global provider of testing, inspection and certification services, and CEA, a public research organisation, are launching a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to develop a new guideline for the qualification and validation of Automated Ultrasonic Testing (AUT) systems to inspect pipeline girth welds.
The current qualification and validation process relies on experimental tests to evaluate the performance of AUT systems in a three-step methodology:
- Test welds manufactured with seeded defects are subjected to AUT to identify defects.
- Test welds are then subjected to destructive testing to confirm actual defect location and size.
- Probability of Detection (PoD) of the AUT system are ultimately derived from steps (1) and (2).
This methodology has a significant impact on the costs and schedule of qualification and validation of AUT systems. In some cases, the AUT qualification duration could exceed the actual pipeline project duration leading to a switch to radiographic testing, with consequential radioprotection and safety implications.
The new industry guideline promoted by the JIP would replace experimental tests (1) and (2) by numerical simulation. This will reduce experimental testing costs and schedule without compromising reliability. The new guideline will rely on a Model-Assisted Probability of Detection (MAPoD). This proven numerical simulation approach has been developed by CEA-List, the CEA lab focusing on software-intensive technologies.
Bureau Veritas and CEA now invite participants to the JIP, to deliver a sound methodology, supported by new guidelines and training as well user-friendly numerical tools for performing the qualification of AUT systems and the validation of project-specific procedures.
The new guideline would provide the following benefits:
- Drastic reduction in duration of qualification/validation time with significant cost savings.
- Reduced number of seeded-defect welds required to be manufactured – with significant cost savings.
- Greater confidence and reliability in the determination of PoD curves and sizing accuracy.
- Better knowledge and understanding of the essential parameters for numerical simulation and their relevance for both onshore and offshore applications.
- The availability of recommendations to adjust parameters for both automated and semi-automated AUT systems.
Paul Shrieve, Bureau Veritas Vice President Offshore and Services, Marine & Offshore division, says, “Bureau Veritas and CEA, are excited to be launching this new Joint Industry Project, which we believe will make a significant difference to the process of testing and validating AUT system performances. Managing the project together, we will each bring our own expertise and specialised skills to the JIP.”
The JIP hopes to attract national and international oil and gas companies, as well as Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) contractors. It will also be aimed at AUT service suppliers, systems manufacturers, and simulation software providers. JIP members with case studies/project applications are welcomed.
TechnipFMC has agreed to join the JIP: Laurent Pomié, TechnipFMC says, “TechnipFMC has already started R&D activities on the topic and sees the JIP as a unique opportunity to spread-out and accelerate adoption of numerical simulation by the industry.”
The Joint Industry Project is expected to start in 2019 and will last for 18-24 months. Detailed JIP proposals will be disclosed and first meetings organised by the end 2018.