The acquired Video Imagery and Integrity data is analyzed by Pipetel’s team of analysts using our proprietary analysis software. A preliminary report followed by a final report that details the findings and integrity condition of the pipeline form the deliverables. The reporting structure is customized to comply with customer requirements.

As pipelines age and corrode, they require active integrity management to maintain their safe operation. Pipetel Technologies proprietary robots, aptly named Explorer, provide inline inspection technology that allows operators of natural gas pipelines to implement a proactive pipeline integrity management and maintenance program. This technology allows critical data to be acquired from pipelines so that repairs can be performed at scheduled times, rather than on an emergency basis, thus avoiding the high cost of urgent repairs to pipelines.

Explorer’s robotic inline inspection technology has been developed for the inspection of 6 to 36 inch diameter natural gas pipelines that are unpiggable by conventional inline inspection tools. The versatility of Explorer makes it the ideal inline inspection tool for natural gas pipelines with: limited or no flow, short radius or mitered bends, valves, back-to-back bends, and pipelines without pre-built standard to launch and receive equipment for ILI tools. Explorer also inspects cased pipelines, and pipelines located at difficult to access locations such as underneath a river.

How It Works
Pipetel Technologies provides robotic inline inspection of unpiggable pipelines using Explorer – an untethered, modular, remotely controllable, self-powered robot for the visual and non-destructive inspection of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. The pipeline operator would weld a hot tap fitting to the pipeline at a strategic location that maximizes the inspection distance. In some cases, only one hot tap is sufficient but there may be cases where installation of additional hot taps are necessary. The Explorer launch tube is then secured onto an industry standard sandwich valve on top of the hot tap fitting.

The operator of Explorer launches it into the pipeline, inspects the pipeline, and retrieves the robot either through the same hot tap or the second hot tap if one is installed. During the inspection, live video images of the pipeline and integrity data are streamed to the operator of Explorer and the pipeline operator. These functions are performed without the need of a tether and without any interruption to local natural gas services.

Upon retrieving Explorer, the operator downloads the video and integrity data for analysis. The launch system is removed and the hot tap is left in place for future inspection.