Pipe Spool Piece Weld Inspection

Key details

  • Coordinates laser and camera inspection of pipe welds

  • Laser and camera inspection can take place around multiple bends

  • Onshore or offshore

  • Full inspection report on pipe weld in Excel format

  • Geometric features such as HiLo, penetration, width and weld shape

  • Image features such as coloration, porosity and cracking

  • All systems are set up, calibrated and verified using calibration artefacts

  • Improved pipeline integrity


All offshore pipelines will have other structures to control the flow of oil or gas. Each of these structures will be made of many joining pipes with a variety of bends. Each bend will have two welds and each spool piece may has several bends and several straight sections with flanges on either end of the assembly. All spoolpieces are manually welded. As a consequence of this process it is common for the internal welds to protrude into the pipe to a significant extent. Unfortunately the weld protrusion can have effects on pigging and on the flow of fluid in the pipe. It is good practice to check the weld before passing these items as fit-for-service to avoid more costly problems offshore.


A laser scan of the weld provides the information required for a pass or fail of each weld. Camera images provide the remaining missing information. By inserting an appropriate system the operator can provide a report certifying that a given spool piece is fit-for-service or needs some remedial action.


There are two options available. The first uses a thin laser stripe to measure the weld profile for larger pipe. The second scheme uses a point laser which is scanned across the weld to create the same information for smaller pipe. In both cases a camera system is used to collect the companion visual information. With large pipe the laser and camera systems are combined and with smaller pipe two systems are used sequentially to collect the same data.

In order to do the inspection is necessary to use a variety of methods to move the tools into position. One scheme is to use a set of push rods or a single stiff rod. Alternatively a crawler might be used to move the tools into position. An umbilical will usually be used to transfer all of the live measurement and visual data back to a PC for storage, analysis and reporting.