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  • Periodic Report Summary 2 - SUBCTESTDEMO (Development of novel Non Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques and autonomous robots to be deployed by Remote Operating Vehicles for the sub-sea inspection of offshore structure welds - DEMOnstration)
FP7

SubCTestDEMO Report Summary

Project ID: 605969
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Norway

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SUBCTESTDEMO (Development of novel Non Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques and autonomous robots to be deployed by Remote Operating Vehicles for the sub-sea inspection of offshore structure welds - DEMOnstration)

Project Context and Objectives:
The SubCTestDemo project was a two year project that was submitted in the call FP7-SME-2013-3 sponsored by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework (FP7) Research for the benefit of SMEs. This started in September 2014 and was completed in October 2016 with the agreement number 605969. This project was a demonstration of the original project SubCTest, ‘Development of Novel Non Destructive Testing (NDT) Techniques and Autonomous Robots to be Deployed by Remote Operating Vehicles (ROVs) for the Sub-Sea Inspection of Offshore Structure Welds’ helping operating oil companies to reduce hazardous diver operations and replacing them with NDT Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs). The original project was submitted in the call FP7 BSG SME and received the grant agreement number 222174. The SubCTestDemo project builds upon the results of the SubCTest project through the demonstration of the SubCTest NDT systems in underwater operational environments to further accelerate the pace of the technologies towards commercial maturity. The demonstrated technology on SubCTestDemo focused on two specific outcome technologies, the Long Range Ultrasonic Transmission (LRUT) and Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT), with the main objective to deploy these technologies using their improved manipulator and clamping systems developed for 12’’ tubular structures and validates their compatibility and full integration following the standards of a Work Class ROV – Triton TXL.
The main technical objective for the second period of this project was to provide sub-sea validation of the SubCTest system with the Work Class ROV – Triton TXL from The Underwater Centre.– using LRUT for detection and EMAT for evaluation of defects, principally of corrosion but possibly for cracks and other defects.
As proved at the final trials the SubCTest system was compatible with the industrial standards for hydraulic systems of Work Class ROVs. This configuration was considered very promising for the commercialization of the SubCTest system, as a wide range of Work Class ROVs will be easy to integrate with our systems and use its’ advanced NDT offering for sub-sea inspection applications. It was proved that the SubCTest system can be directly operate by ROV pilots from the control room of the ROV, while remote LRUT data acquisition can be performed through the laptop hosting the Teletest Focus software. The deployment of the EMAT clamp system was entirely new and performed without any problem; this new tool demonstrated an easy interface/integration and operation with the ROV. However due the non-availability of the EMAT signal conditioner suitable for underwater experiments, the marinization and validation of the EMAT sensor were only preformed in laboratory facilities using a small 12’’ pipe and the developed clamp. The results coming from these experiments are promising and show the potential of this type of NDT tool.

Project Results:
In this period (30/06/2015 to 30/09/2016) and in line with the DOW, a number of tasks were undertaken and reported. In work package 4 associated with the Field Trials and Industrial Validation, the installation and deployment of the LRUT clamping manipulator was achieved. To integrate the LRUT tool into the Work Class ROV a bed frame structure was built in order to accommodate all the LRUT components; this has facilitated the integration of the LRUT hardware components with the ROV skid. The final configuration adopted for the integration of the LRUT system was straight-forward to implement as the SubCTest system was compatible with the industrial standards for hydraulic systems of Work Class ROVs. This configuration was considered very promising for the commercialization of the SubCTest system, as a wide range of Work Class ROVs will be able to easily integrated with our system and use its’ advanced NDT offering for sub-sea inspection applications. During the trials, it was identified that the SubCTest system can be easily connected with the hydraulics, power, and communications of the Work Class ROV without requiring any hardware modifications. In addition, it was presented that the SubCTest system can be easily operated by the ROV pilots from the control room of the ROV, while remote LRUT data acquisition can be performed through the laptop hosting the Teletest Focus software. A new EMAT scanning clamping has been developed during the progress of this task. The new clamping system is able to deploy two to four EMAT sensors have been specifically designed to fix on tubular structures with 12 inches of diameter. The clamp was previously tested in a laboratory using a commercially available EMAT data acquisition however regarding the ROV deployed EMAT sensors, this objective was not achieved due the impossibility to adapt the data acquisition system for underwater application. The deployment of the EMAT clamp was entirely new and performed without any problem; this new tool shows an easy interface/integration and operation. Easy to be deployed on pipelines, this tool can be a promising NDT system however will need some additional validation after the development of a suitable signal conditioner able to be integrated in the SubCTest system.
The work developed in work-package 5 for the continuation of the dissemination and exploitation activities from SubCTest project comprises to identify interested customers (utility companies, oil/platform maintenance departments and component manufacturers etc); to ‘fine-tune’ the market strategy; to engage with potential customers on dissemination of progress and potential of the SubCTest collar system; continued IPR protection.
All of the objectives proposed for WP5 were achieved. The deliverables of this work-package presents the progress done for the dissemination activity, exploitation and for the protection of intellectual property was presented comprising: a detailed plan for the PUDF; a detailed Exploitation plan and strategy, forecasting the timelines, actions and details for each period of the SubCTestDemo new market penetration stages; the different levels of Exploitation for: Products, Technologies and Services; the dissemination plan including top level activities, detailed dissemination activities (for example, conferences and marketing material); the description of SubCTest-Demo project Web page; a list of actions to protect the IPR by the Exploitation Manager; market assessment and market segmentation; including potential end-user for the SubCTest-Demo system. Partners of this project have established some contacts with important companies in this pertinent sector such Sonomatic Ltd, Technip, Saipem and SNAM as potential future clients. It is on the interest of this consortium to continue the development and demonstration of this SubCTest system prototype.

Potential Impact:
The importance of the subsea pipelines on the offshore industry is becoming more and more relevant because it is the most effective method to transport oil/gas from the offshore platforms and the number of subsea pipelines is getting bigger year by year. In line with this increment, the biggest numbers of reported offshore failures are focused on them.
Corrosion is the most important cause of failure in subsea pipelines and it will depend on the size of the pipeline and its localization. The highest number of subsea pipelines failures is reported in oil pipelines. However, most of these corrosion failures can be repaired if there are detected well in advance.
Using the LRUGT and EMAT NDT technologies, the SubCTest-Demo system will detect the corrosion and material damages on the subsea pipelines and predict the likelihood of future failures well in advance. This situation will allow the generation of well detailed maintenance and prevention plans, reducing/avoiding the necessity of unscheduled activities and raising up the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and lowering down the Mean Time To Recover (MTTR) values of the overall offshore platform/structure. That means all associated maintenance and prevention costs will strongly reduce.
Additionally, the prediction capability will directly impact on the spare materials management (warehouse) and will drastically reduce the lack of production, down times of the offshore platforms/structures, pollution and its associated penalties and legal responsibilities, etc. In other words, the increment of the production revenue will be significantly higher than the actual cost of the NDT system.
The installation of the SubCTest system on the ROV allow performing NDT inspections on several pipelines and tubular sections using the same system which is fully controlled from surface by well trained operators. The demonstrated successful integration of an EMAT clamp system with the LRUT guided wave ultrasonic technique represents an important advance in the area of LRUT inspection on land as well as subsea. The inability of LRUT to evaluate flaws and defects thoroughly is a limitation of the method. In SubCTest system the LRUT will locate the flaw or defect at distances of up to several tens of metres either side of the transducer collar. The SubCTest clamping system will then be moved to the defect location and the EMAT deployed from the same clamp to evaluate the defect in detail. With regard to the impact on the individual partners, SubCTest will provide Dacon with a new capability to add to its current ROV and robot deployed activities. Innotech already has a reputation for innovative robot design and SubCTest will add a subsea dimension to this. Nardoni have several years experience in the use of LRUT to inspect on-shore pipelines, including those used in district heating systems. Nardoni will now be able to exploit its expertise subsea. iKnowHow present significant technical expertise in the Condition Monitoring (CM) sector where they commercialise Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) for CM systems; the SubCTestDemo project allowed them to enter the rapidly growing market of subsea NDT inspection. Very promising conclusions could be drawn from the operation trials. Specifically, the fact that the SubCTestDemo system complies with the industrial standards for the hydraulics systems of Work Class ROVs will greatly facilitate the wide adoption of the system. Towards this direction, important contribution will be provided by the straightforward integration of the system with the main chassis of Work Class ROVs and its’ compatibility with their hydraulics and communication systems. Easy to be deployed on pipelines, the EMAT clamp tool can be a promising NDT system however will need some additional validation after the development of a signal conditioner able to be integrated in the SubCTest system.

List of Websites:
http://www.subctestdemo.eu/

Contact

Børre Børretzen, (Project Manager)
Tel.: +47 21063520
Fax: +47 67533440
E-mail
Record Number: 197858 / Last updated on: 2017-05-16