USA Key Account Manager, Ryan Sikes, Discusses Key Benefits to Pipeline Metal Loss Solutions

Author: Ryan Sikes

Having joined NDT Global in 2015, my professional background was predominantly in MFL, so I was initially skeptical to the full benefit of an ultrasonic technology inspection. However, truth be told, it didn't take long for me to understand why operators were turning to ultrasonic metal loss inspections versus traditional technology.

My NDT Global induction brought me on a comprehensive journey. From cross-collaboration with our data and robotics teams to hands on client engagements and site visits, I quickly developed a full understanding about the true benefits of NDT Global's ultrasonic metal loss solution, focusing on the unique approach to deliver a high-resolution pinhole and pitting metal loss inspection.

Fast forward four years to today, and the demand for ultrasonic metal loss has drastically increased. Not only are operators becoming more educated on how to preserve their pipelines, but technology has advanced and is continuing to do so.

When I meet with prospective clients, first and foremost I listen to ensure I deliver the correct inspection advice. I need to understand their challenges and gather information about their pipeline and known defects to see (in this context) if ultrasonic metal loss is a suitable solution for their inspection purposes.

When operators are experiencing challenges with complex corrosion, shallow or steep-sided corrosion, I work with them to ensure they are aware of the technology differences – the limitations traditional MFL-based inspections impose as well as the benefits to utilizing ultrasonic-based technology, such as ultrasonic metal loss.

In general, an important point I highlight is how imperative it is to understand why accuracy is key when inspecting a pipeline and how that accuracy plays a huge role in avoiding unnecessary digs and making the right decisions when managing each asset. While we receive many inquiries around a diverse set of metal loss-related pipeline concerns, several of those concerns revolve around complex corrosion features.

A critical benefit for ultrasonic metal loss technologies can be seen with heavy walled pipes. As wall thickness increases, both sizing and accuracy tolerances for magnetic, or MFL-based technologies increases. But, with ultrasonic metal loss technology, the specification remains the same throughout all wall thickness. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the limitations and benefits of both MFL and ultrasonic metal loss technologies. When accuracy is key, whether it's for complex corrosion, challenging metal loss or heavy wall pipe, ultrasonic metal loss is the best solution.

Many operators are interested in combining inspection solutions or 'combination runs' simply because combining solutions brings many benefits. For example, when ultrasonic metal loss is combined with an ultrasonic crack inspection, the additional data set allows us to identify and discriminate defects with increased accuracy. With combination runs, we receive more data points which are used to distinguish irregularities and most importantly detect interacting threats.

At NDT Global's aim, regardless the type of inspection, is simple: to provide the most accurate assessment of our customers pipelines, so operators make the right decisions without hesitation. We understand that no two pipelines are the same and work on the premise that successful inline inspection is all about accuracy, precision and identifying the best fit.

Should you wish to learn more about our ultrasonic metal loss solution, you can contact us.

About Ryan Sikes

In 2015, Ryan joined NDT Global as a Key Account Manager, bringing experience from several roles in the pipeline inspection industry. From field level operations to serving as a consultant, Ryan's worked closely with pipeline operators and inline inspection providers for more than 7 years. When Ryan joined NDT Global, he was quickly identified as a trusted technical resource and customer-strategist with a passion for identifying, mitigating and managing metal loss and crack-like defects in pipelines.

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