The project executed for the client Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. (TGS SA) comprised the integral development of laser scanners for external corrosion measurement and assessment of 24’’ and 30’’ diameter gas pipelines. A first prototype was developed and tested and then 3 operative equipment were manufactured and deployed by TGS SA at corrosion assessment and repair campaigns.
In the case of this success story executed by INVENIO ENGINEERING S.R.L. for TGS SA company, project encompassed all the typical project’s developing stages; from initial project concept through detailed engineering design, construction and commissioning up to operational day-to-day assistance and support.
Since project inception, INVENIO’s engineers and technicians were in close collaboration with client’s-side project leaders to gain in-deep understanding and definition of project’s goals. Which included field visits to obtain firsthand knowledge and details of field operations, formerly conducted by traditional manual measuring and assessment methods.
During the concept engineering stage, a brainstorming of possible alternatives was carried out and presented, including an evaluation of the state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. Technical and economic feasibility was conducted in close-collaboration with client’s personnel. Ending with the selection of TGS’s most technically and economically suitable alternative and further designing its developing plan.
A basic engineering stage was further carried out, defining component-level engineering; measuring-strategy selection, laser sensor definition and testing, selection of main electromechanical linear actuator and control electronics prototyping and testing. Laboratory test were performed and first system-level integration.
In the following detailed engineering stage a 3D CAD model was elaborated. Every detail of the machine was designed and polished. All actuators were selected and 3D modeled. Control electronics hardware designed and ad-hoc control firmware written and tested on test protoboard. A first prototype of communication and post-processing software was developed. This stage yielded all manufacturing documentation; detailed manufacturing drawings and production specifications, both for mechanical and electronic components and assemblies.
All components were acquired at the beginning of the manufacturing stage, including specifics components which had to be purchased abroad and then imported and nationalized (IMPO & EXPO capabilities). Custom machined parts were manufactured and electronic boards, components and microprocessor were assembled; including on-board control firmware. Final version of the corrosion post-processing and assessment software (called PitExplorer©) was released. It asses corrosion by ASME B31-G standard and includes other specially designed analysis and reporting capabilities requested by TGS’ corrosion assessment engineering team.
First prototype was assembled and testing side-by-side with TGS’ team; laboratory test were conducted first over a standard pipe and then on-field, intensive testing, was performed. Test were successful and project goals reached.
A detailed operational manual was released and technician’s training courses were carried out. Machines were then released for field operations.