The pipelines at The Dow Chemical Company, better known in short as Dow Chemical, are up to 610 millimetres diameter at the subsidiary in Terneuzen. A special challenge for the Inspector Systems team.

Which, subcontracted by ApplusRTD, was sent to the Netherlands at the beginning of 2011 with the mission of revealing what the pipeline concealed. Its integrity had to be visually inspected and surveyed with the integrated laser measuring system.

Inspector Systems engaged in a special task at Dow Chemical
Inspector Systems engaged in a special task at Dow Chemical

The sections of pipeline to be inspected ranged in diameter from 10“ to 24“ . In order to cover this large diameter spectrum three different video / laser inspection robots were used. A special challenge was the section of pipeline with several bends and vertical runs. On top of this there were several T-junctions to overcome. The extremely narrow deployment conditions posed a further challenge . The type 6000 robot (440 mm to 750 mm inspection range) had to be introduced into the pipeline in an opened vessel.

For introducing the type 5000 (inspection range 310 mm to 510 mm) and the type 4000 (inspection range 190 mm to 325 mm) a flange connection had to be removed in each case.

Visual inspection of the entire inner surface of the pipe was carried out with the INSPECTOR SYSTEMS high-resolution camera module with 10 x optical zoom and focussing facility. Even the tiniest of faults in the line can be reliable detected with this technology. In addition, approximately every 500 mm, the inner diameter of the pipeline was measured with the robot´s laser measuring system by INSPECTOR SYSTEMS. As a result of this measurement the client expected to detect reductions in the diameter due to deposits or increases in the diameter due to erosion. The mission was off course successfully completed.

Dow Chemical is an internationally-operating chemicals company based in Midland (Michigan) in the USA and is one of the largest chemical groups in the world. The Group’s biggest site in the USA is located near Houston/Freeport (Texas). The largest European sites are in Schkopau, Tarragona and in Stade. In total Dow Chemical currently employees approximately 12,000 people in Europe.

Dow Chemical is the world’s largest producer of plastics and synthetic rubber and is also the largest manufacturer of basic chemicals. In this group of companies safety is written with a capital S.