Vol.9 No.2, Autumn 2014
The InspecTech Inquirer

Regular readers of the InspecTech Inquirer may recall our

frequent references to the fact that some (not all) codes of

practice are very accommodating for users of eddy

current test methods,  allowing calibration by drilled holes

only; whereas other technologies are required to locate OD

and ID notches all within the same code.

The API Specification 5LCP for coiled pipe is an example

of this leniency: we have seen a number of coiled tube

facilities select and depend solely upon eddy current testing,

clearly taking the line of least resistance.

Now at last we have something of a breakthrough. A major

U.S. producer, aware of the limitations of eddy current

methods has ordered an ultrasonic weld test unit plus an

I.B.I.S. for their coiled tubing facility.

Couple this order, due to be delivered soon, with our

shipment last Spring of a flux leakage unit destined for an offshore coiled tubing facility, and we may have the makings of a user-driven recognition of the limitations of eddy current testing in this particular application.



Back in the 1990's we were asked whether the I.B.I.S. could alarm if a

step of 0.005” was detected. The answer was “yes”, we can set alarms

at that sort of level. Unfortunately, what that customer had failed to tell

us, was that the allowable gauge variation in his product was 12% of

0.250”, or ±0.030”. Clearly it is impossible to trigger an alarm on

something smaller than the normal (and expected) variations in


Our response to this issue was to devise a software routine known as

the 'Trim Alarm'. The trim alarm calculates and stores the average

thickness over any given sweep or succession of sweeps. The

operator has the option to set the number and range of any contiguous

group of readings that deviate from that mean. In this way, a small

thickness deviation can be alarmed even against a much larger

background variation.

The trim alarm has been standard on all I.B.I.S. units since then. It is a

menu item, found under: Setup~Advanced~Alarm Options.

Fast forward to 2014: another customer request raises the need to track

skelp gauge and to shift base line and alarm levels in step with gauge

variations, thus avoiding false alarms generated by allowable gauge tolerances. (This is not the same as the trim alarm). As a result of this request, we now have a routine that measures the gauge of the parent metal at both ends of the sweep and uses this information to create a floating value of mean wall thickness. When the feature is enabled the baseline wall thickness and the corresponding high and low alarms move with the measured gauge.

With this new feature gauge information can now be posted to the data logger and the system may be used either in continuous mode or to reset the gauge baseline at the start of each coil. The gauge information that is stored in the data logger should satisfy API requirements for wall thickness records for all PSL 1 material (except grade C110).

Whilst the trim alarm is activated as a menu item, the average wall feature is enabled and adjusted from the ini file, which is for more advanced users. Existing customers who may be interested in this new feature should contact us by phone or e-mail. If your version of I.B.I.S. is able to handle the routine we can supply a software patch.

Meet The People
Flux leakage weld test unit being prepared for
shipment to an Offshore coiled tubing customer

Office Closings

For our international customers, here is a list of Canadian holidays and observances for our offices for the next several months. Our automated answering machine can take messages during evenings, weekends and holidays. Our offices will be closed for:

Christmas Break

Noon Dec. 24 - Dec. 31

New Years Day

January 1

Family Day

February 16

Good Friday

April 3

Victoria Day

May 18

Canada Day

July 1

Dates subject to change.

Rose is closing in on 15 years of service to Inspectech. She joined us as a receptionist and general office help part-time. Over the years Rose has acquired many skills related to the efficient operation of our front office, including the complexities of export documentation. Now that her family is grown Rose works with us full time, and hers is one of the voices you will likely hear answering the phone.

Editor and features - A.C. Richardson - acrichardson@inspectech.ca

Design and Layout - John Baleck

Feedback - inspectechnews@inspectech.ca

Back Issues of the InspecTech Inquirer are posted on our website at www.inspectech.ca .

We generally issue two editions a year.

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Tel: 416-757-1179      Fax: 416-757-8096
Email: group@inspectech.ca    Web: www.inspectech.ca