Ensuring the functionality and integrity of pipelines is our industry’s number one priority. Over the years, engineers have worked to create and continuously improve what the energy industry refers to as “smart pigs.” These tools are created to inspect a pipeline using advanced imaging technology. Researchers have continuously improved smart pig technology, so that they can detect even pinhole-sized features that may compromise the pipeline.
Smart pigs are also called in-line inspection tools. They monitor and inspect pipelines for a multitude of potential issues:
- Cracking, dents or buckles in the metal
- Corrosion or metal loss
- Gaps of cathodic protection
- Movement or strain on the pipeline
As time goes on and technology advances, these “smart pigs” just get better and more precise. All these technology advancements add up to ensuring pipeline safety, and efficiency.