The course fills a missing link. Inspection experts, integrity experts and operators all have their specific perspective on the pipeline. This fact and the different interpretation of the technical terminology used can lead to misunderstanding between the different stakeholders.
There are other courses introducing inspection technologies. These courses cover external inspection technologies as well as In-Line Inspection. However, they typically cover the solutions available on the
market as well as explaining the technologies (NDT technologies) with a strong focus on the inspection (defect specs) and application perspective (operational procedures). On the other hand, there is a variety
of defect assessment classes. These explain or train on the “doing”, i.e. how is a defect assessment and determination of a maximum allowable operating pressure done, for instance for dents, metal loss or cracks.
The missing link is bringing it together. In order to do effective integrity assessment three parameters must be known: defect geometry, actual material characteristics and true loading conditions.
The new course views and explains non-destructive testing from an integrity perspective. Questions raised and discussed are effects of defect geometry, data quality and combining data from different nondestructive inspection sources. Inspection issues go beyond finding defects in the pipe wall or coating, but also address determination of material characteristics, such as yield, UTS, toughness or fracture toughness. Special emphasis is placed on truly understanding the issues of thresholds (what is the smallest defect I can see), achievable accuracies (how accurately can I size it) and confidence levels (how sure am I that I sized and characterized it correctly).
Fully understanding the actual integrity of a pipeline also requires understanding the effects of interacting defects as well as coincident defects and features. This is not just limited to interaction within one particular defect class, but over the whole spectrum of possible anomalies, for instance dents interacting with metal loss or cracks.
It is important to understand the various parameters in the design of automated inspection equipment influencing data quality with regard to the issues raised above.