Europipe automates inspection with GE

20 August 2010

Europipe has implemented an automated inspection system, incorporating an ultrasonic testing machine from GE Inspection Technologies, to bolster its production of large diameter, welded steel pipe.

The inspection system is installed at Europipe’s Muelheim plant (UOE-line) where the company manufactures longitudinally and helically welded large-diameter pipes. These are produced in a range of diameters and wall thicknesses at lengths of up to 18.3m (SAWL) resp. 24m (SAWH). The Europipe Group has manufacturing plants in Germany, France, USA and Brazil.

More than half of the steps in Europipe’s manufacturing chain relate to quality control and testing. Non-destructive testing is an area of particular investment and the concept of the new testing machine was developed and designed by Europipe and GE’s Inspection Technologies.

The ultrasonic testing machine inspects Submerged Arc Welded (SAW) pipes. It features several ultrasonic probe configurations to meet most international standards and NDT specifications by applying suitable testing technologies, such as pulse-echo, through transmission and, tandem technology, as well as testing on bead and beside the weld. As an additional feature, phased array technology can be used for trials and special testing tasks. In operation, the corresponding probe holders are moved along the pipe under inspection in a carriage, which provides precise positional control.

Twenty inspection channels are available to provide comprehensive coverage for the inspection of longitudinal and transverse flaws in the seam weld and for lamination type flaws in the heat-affected zone. The inspection extends up to the pipe extremities.

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