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AR piloted for inspection of pipelines

Images of the pipes taken every three to six months will be overlaid using AR to provide a clear indication of any damage

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The use of AR could save millions of pounds in replacement pipes
The use of AR could save millions of pounds in replacement pipes
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An infrared camera will use AR to assess any potential damage

Pipelines are currently exchanged regardless of their condition

Costain has announced that it plans to use augmented reality to assess potential damage to radioactive pipelines.

 

The engineering solutions provider has been selected by EDF Energy to steer an innovation project that will change the way boiler tubes are inspected for cracks and breakages.

 

“We are extremely excited to start developing this technology with EDF,” Loretta Browne, EDF account manager at Costain. “Innovation and technology is at the heart of everything we do here at Costain so it is great to be able to merge the two to create something that will boost efficiency and lower costs in the energy industry”.

 

Costain will be building on EDF’s initial work in developing a miniature pipe inspection camera by creating an infrared version that uses augmented reality.

 

Currently, visual inspection is deemed to be the most effective technique for material defects in pipelines some of which are more than 40 years old but it has limitations.

 

The deterioration of pipes is assessed subjectively, meaning money is spent on replacing pipes that have a much longer life expectancy. The quality of the footage is also often impacted due to the camera being dazzled by its own illuminator. This can result in areas of the image being hidden.

 

Costain’s technology, which will be trialled on a pilot basis, will be more sympathetic providing an evenly exposed image, while also minimising the radioactive levels. Images of the pipes will be taken every three- to six months, and will be overlaid using augmented reality to provide a clear indication of any damage that needs be addressed and thus any pipes that need to be replaced.

 

“The technology we will produce will have a positive long-term impact on both EDF and [its] customers and we hope to see it being utilised over the upcoming year,” added Tony Davies, nuclear business development director at Costain.

 

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