Quality Magazine

Olympus Introduces the In-line ERW Tube Inspection System

January 18, 2011

Olympus is pleased to introduce its latest ultrasonic industrial NDT system, the In-Line ERW Tube Inspection System. This new inspection system uses advanced phased array technology to inspect weld seams and the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of electrical resistance welded (ERW) tubes.

The main advantage of this innovative system is that it performs ERW tube inspections using advanced phased array technology in place of the conventional ultrasound technology currently available on the market. Phased array offers broad sector coverage of the HAZ while maintaining constant amplitude. This unique solution provides constant amplitude detection within the entire inspection area, even when there is significant weld seam movement relative to the probes. In addition, PA technology permits electronic optimization of the beam shape in order to enhance the detection of small defects such as penetrators.

The Olympus ERW Tube Inspection System is capable of inspecting pipes with diameters ranging from 60 millimeters (2.375 inches) to 245 millimeters (9.625 inches) and wall thicknesses ranging from 2 millimetes (0.079 inches) to 16 millimeters (0.630 inches). The system also has a maximum inspection speed of 1.5 m/s (295 ft/min).

The Olympus mechanical solution for ERW tube inspection is based on a small automated bridge (gantry type) that positions the inspection head in-line or off-line when performing inspections, automatic calibrations, calibration checks, and maintenance operations.

While the system's main function is to detect longitudinal flaws using a cylindrical phased array probe located on each side of the weld, a third cylindrical phased array probe located on top of the weld and firing at 0 degrees may be used for weld profiling to create a true side view of the weld for simple and fast profile analysis.

This third PA probe and a unique patented algorithm based on time-of-flight analysis enable the Olympus system to perform automatic detection of the scarfing area and send feedback to the PLC (programmable logic controller) for automatic adjustment of the position of each inspection head.

Olympus is confident that this new In-Line ERW Tube Inspection system equipped with advanced and innovative features will improve the overall quality of ERW tube inspection.