How long ago would you think pipelines were invented? Perhaps some time around the industrial revolution? The truth is… not really. First recorded use of pipelines dates back to around 500 BC China, where pipelines were used to transport hydrocarbons. Those first ever pipelines were made entirely of bamboo. Two thousand years later, the pipeline industry has made headlines once again. With modern day technologies and assembly methods, pipelines are now made from high-quality steel protected by coatings that are durable in all environmental conditions, and are protected by monitoring the pipelines 24/7. This clearly shows that innovation in pipeline assembly has been significant throughout the years.
Continuous welding innovation
Pipeline assembly is not all about the innovation that goes into the pipelines, but also about the methods used to connect the pipes together. As such, welding is of high priority here. Using cost efficient, quick and reliable methods of welding can make the pipelines stable and less prone to damages and incidents. Pipelines are usually associated with water or gas distribution, but the truth is that now they are used as a transportation mode for much more. As such, there are certain requirements the pipelines have to meet and certain norms they have to implement.
With innovations in welding methods, more sustainable and incident-resistant pipelines are assembled all across the world.
What about bending?
Welding has been the way to go for pipeline manufacturers for centuries now.
However, with recent technological advancements and innovations, it has been possible to limit the need of using welding. Instead, manufacturers assemble their pipelines using induction bending methods.
They allow the manufacturers to use heat and power to bend the pipes, making a long line that does not need as much joints as it used to. With a smaller amount of welding points, there is a lesser risk of leakage and minor incidents that joints are often the victim of.
Supervising the pipelines
One the pipelines are assembled and ready to use, companies must know what’s happening underground. Innovations in technology and computers make it possible now to monitor the pipelines 24/7 from control rooms. The technicians are able to spot any problems from hundreds of kilometres away and they can understand and respond to them basically in real time.
It’s all thanks to SCADA systems, which are Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems. The SCADA system software gathers critical information from the pipeline and alerts technicians about any difficulties.
Planning is key
The article is supposed to talk about innovations in pipeline assembly, but what would it be without mentioning the innovations that go to planning strategies. After all, pipeline can only be assessed as well assembled once it goes into use and modern planning methods have made it easier for the pipelines to stand the test of time.
Right now the manufacturers and companies know exactly what should they avoid and what are the best places for the pipeline.
Protection is a part of good assembly, as it gives the manufacturers a wide range of options and doesn’t limit their possibilities.
Photo source: ENERGOP.com