In a Nutshell:
Have you ever struggled to quickly find the results of a specific pipeline cleaning run? Are you frustrated by using Excel files or paper to record cleaning results, just to end up storing them in a project folder? Surely, there must be a better way to do this in the 21st century? Have you ever wondered how the debris in your pipeline affects throughput? Have you ever considered implementing a regular maintenance cleaning campaign but did not know how best to do it? If you can answer “Yes” to at least one of these questions, then you should continue reading this article and find out how ROSEN’s Cleaning Analytics Service (CAS) can simplify your daily business.
Since the early 2000s, the term “Big Data” has gained more and more importance across all industries. It is all about the question of how to deal most effectively and most efficiently with a steadily increasing amount of data.
It has never been so easy to gather all kinds of data in all areas of our lives, and, given this, it has never been so important to store this data in a structured way, making it easily and quickly accessible from anywhere at any time. Furthermore, would it not be great if you were able to receive a comprehensive analysis report, ideally a fully or semi-automated one?
We all are used to our smartphones and familiar with using apps to collect information about our fitness level, health and running distance, among other parameters. In those cases, it is normal that we automatically receive an analysis of the captured data to track our improvements towards our own goals or to simply get an overview of the work we have done.
The same applies to business. Nowadays, it is common for business decisions to be based on a huge amount of data that has been analyzed for certain key performance indicators (KPIs). If the database is of high quality and contains all the relevant information, the success of the derived business decision is almost certain.
If we again think about the questions raised at the beginning of this article, do they not sound “old-school” or outdated? Should we not be able to simplify the capture, storage and analysis of our cleaning data to derive successful decisions that will optimize pipeline throughput and minimize the risk of integrity issues caused by debris? The good news: this is exactly what ROSEN’s Cleaning Analytics Service can do.
It follows a simple approach for three main components to bring cleaning activities into the 21st century:
- Data capture
- Data storage, visualization and reporting
- Data analysis
Let us have a look at each of these three components in more detail.
The ESRI’s ArcGIS Survey123 app is used to simplify the data-capture process. This app can be downloaded to any smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). The underlying pre-populated questionnaires provided by ROSEN inside the app are modified to capture all relevant data at the launcher and at the receiver of your pipeline. The field technician just needs to click through the different questions and answer them, most times by choosing an option from a drop-down menu. Typical information collected at the launcher includes (but is not limited to):
- Goal of the run (cleaning/gauging/batching…)
- Configuration of the cleaning tool
- Pictures of the cleaning tool (the camera of the device used can be activated via the app to take pictures immediately)
- Operating conditions of the pipeline
When all the information at the launcher is entered, it can be stored in the app by simply clicking a check mark.
Figure 1 – ARCGIS Survey123 app used during cleaning survey
The same principle applies to the receiver, except that the type of required information is slightly different. Typically, the required information at the receiver is:
- Condition of the cleaning tool (cup/disk wear, gauge/bend plate measurements…)
- Pictures of the cleaning tool
- Pictures of the receiver after opening the trap door
- Type of debris
- Amount of debris
The requested information to be entered into the app is important, as it enables judgements about the feasibility of a planned in-line inspection (ILI) and about the general condition of the pipeline. When trended over time, it can also provide guidance on the cleaning program.
If you want to capture even more information about the pipeline, such as pressure, temperature, medium velocity, differential pressure and acceleration, you can equip the cleaning tool with a ROSEN Pipeline Data Logger (PDL). This device lets you bring intelligence to the cleaning tool, allowing for a more detailed analysis of the pipeline condition.
DATA STORAGE, VISUALIZATION AND REPORTING
A network connection is not required to capture the data with the app. As soon as network access is available, all entered data, including pictures, can be uploaded to the ROSEN online database, called the Online Repository.
This is done with a single click in the app.
As soon as the data is uploaded – which takes just a couple of seconds – you can access the data from anywhere, anytime you want, with your unique user credentials. This and further IT security measures ensure that your data is safe and protected against unauthorized access.
Within the Online Repository, data is presented in a user-friendly dashboard, making it possible to investigate each cleaning run. Run data is organized by asset, date and time. Filtering options will guide you to any desired cleaning run.
However, storage is not the only function of the Online Repository. One key to enabling the analysis of captured cleaning data is the integrated dashboard, which automatically creates graphs and charts to visualize entered data, including:
- Cup/disc wear
- Debris type
- Amount of debris in liters and kilograms
- Basic geographic information about the pipeline location
Figure 2 – Online Repository dashboard
The fully automated dashboard lets you see all relevant KPIs at a glance. If you prefer to have copies of the data on your local company network as well, you may download all charts and graphs as well as the raw data as Excel files. In addition, cleaning reports from the different cleaning runs are generated automatically on a pre-defined time basis and contain all the relevant information that was entered via the app.
Having all relevant cleaning data available and organized drives powerful analysis capabilities, revealing trends and pinpointing optimization options – which may include guidance on cleaning run frequency or configuration requirements for cleaning tools. Additionally, it can help to guide flow assurance modeling, providing you with answers to such questions as:
- Am I using the right cleaning tools for the type and amount of debris?
- Why did the ILI tool bring out more debris than any cleaning tool upfront?
- Can I be sure that throughput is not affected by debris?
- How might I be able to optimize my cleaning/maintenance program?
This analysis can be done either by your own company or by ROSEN experts. The goal is to identify opportunities for improving pipeline throughput and cleaning effectiveness.
ROSEN’s Cleaning Analytics Service brings your cleaning activities to the next level. Do not waste your time searching for cleaning results stored somewhere in project folders. Instead, access the data wherever and whenever you want. Be sure that no information gets lost. Base your decisions regarding cleaning campaigns on relevant data and meaningful KPIs. Simplify your business by using technologies you already know well from your personal life. Experience progress in action as we bring traditional processes into the 21st century and adapt to the future.
Johannes Spille is an Industrial Engineer with seven years of strong knowledge in the oil and gas industry. Serving as a Project Manager for ROSEN Germany since 2017, he has successfully implemented tailored Integrity & Corrosion Management solutions worldwide, helping clients to utilize appropriate services to optimize their assets, reduce costs and enhance quality.