Published 22 Sep 2022
What is a Pipeline Inspection?
A pipeline inspection is conducted by pipeline engineers as part of overall preventive maintenance to verify the integrity of a pipeline system and reduce the risks of leaks, pressure surges, and corrosion. Pipeline operators should empower frontline workers to perform routine pipeline inspections with mobile-ready tools for triggered alerts to the right people when potential issues arise.
A pipeline inspection checklist is used by pipeline engineers to verify the integrity of a pipeline system and prevent costly shutdowns. Use this checklist to inspect the pipeline’s design, installation, operation, maintenance, and corrosion control procedures, coating and cathodic protection, test stations, remedial measures, and monitoring. With iAuditor temperature and humidity sensors, global pipeline operators can monitor pipelines from the control room and gain real-time and historical information across assets and sites.
This article features the following:
- what is a pipeline corrosion inspection report;
- what should be included in a pipeline inspection report;
- guide to perform in-house pipeline inspections;
- how to perform a pipeline inspection efficiently;
- how to use iAuditor to streamline pipeline maintenance;
- iAuditor as pipeline inspection software; and
- free, ready-to-use templates to help make pipeline inspections easy and hassle-free.
A pipeline corrosion inspection report is a comprehensive document used by area managers to anticipate corrosion-related problems and mitigate their consequences, such as disruptions in power, transportation, and infrastructure. Automatically generating and submitting pipeline corrosion inspection reports helps site supervisors control corrosion immediately and minimize costs.
A pipeline inspection checklist can vary according to the specifications of a project, team, or business. The following items, however, should ideally be included during pipeline inspections to ensure a well-maintained pipeline system:
- Corrosion Control
- Atmospheric Corrosion Control
- Cathodic Protection
- Test Stations
- Remedial Measures
In a report filed by Energy Transfer Partners with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last July, corrosion ruptured a 30-inch diameter steel pipe near Missouri Highway 15. The pipeline eventually exploded and incurred a total incident cost of $1.4 million. Global pipeline operators can prevent similar incidents from occurring through corrosion risk management and following the pipeline external corrosion direct assessment methodology developed by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) below:
Step 1: Pre-assessment
Pipeline operators should collect historic and current data such as construction records, operation and maintenance histories, and corrosion control procedures to analyze which indirect inspection tools should be used. Select indirect inspection tools such as close-interval survey (CIS), current voltage gradient (ACDVG/DCVG) survey, and/or AC current attenuation survey based on the ability to detect corrosion activity.
Step 2: Indirect Inspection
This step covers above-ground inspections and/or inspection from the ground surface to determine the severity of coating faults and other areas where corrosion activity may have occurred or may be occurring. Use two or more indirect inspection tools to provide improved detection reliability, especially for identifying atmospheric corrosion.
Step 3: Direct Examination
Integrate the pre-assessment data with the indirect inspection results to determine the segments for pipe surface evaluations and excavations for underground pipes. Inspectors should assess the impact of external corrosion on the pipeline, including its coating performance, corrosion defect repairs, and mitigation of corrosion protection faults.
After collecting more data to assess corrosion activity, apply the following prioritization requirements accordingly:
- Immediate Action Required – address all multiple severe corrosion indications in close proximity and isolated moderate corrosion indications in a region during the direct examination
- Scheduled Action Required – address all remaining moderate corrosion indications and groups of minor corrosion indications in a region during reassessments
- Suitable for Monitoring – inactive corrosion indications or any indications that have the lowest likelihood of ongoing or prior corrosion activity
Step 4: Post-assessment
Pipeline operators should define reassessment intervals and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the pipeline inspection four-step process. Perform direct examinations as needed and proactively seek continuous improvement opportunities for mitigative measures against pipeline corrosion.
Collecting, organizing, and managing paper-based pipeline corrosion inspection reports consume too much time, energy, and space. Three resources that can be utilized better by downloading iAuditor by SafetyCulture, the world’s most powerful mobile inspection app. Used for more than 50 million inspections in over 80 countries, iAuditor has been revolutionizing safety and quality for a variety of industries with its versatile features and user-friendly interface. With iAuditor, you can do the following:
- Download ready-to-use pipeline inspection checklists or easily create and customize your own via Smart Forms. Use for free with small teams.
- Perform pipeline inspections on your mobile phone or tablet anytime, anywhere, even if you’re offline. Your data will automatically sync to the cloud once you connect to the internet.
- Take photos of the pipeline’s poor-quality segments and annotate them for added clarity. Assign corrective actions to immediately address the problem. Set the time, date, and priority level to triage tasks.
- Automatically generate pipeline inspection reports after completing your maintenance checks and easily deliver them to your site supervisor and co-workers with the tap of a finger.
- Track inspection frequency and performance via data analytics and gain actionable insights to improve pipeline operations. Unlimited storage and integrations for premium accounts.
Pipelines are integral to the operation of commercial, industrial, and even residential establishments. A damaged pipeline can severely affect the functionality of an establishment or, worse, force a full-stop to productivity. Considering the possible consequences, the thorough examination and proper maintenance of pipelines should not be taken lightly.
By using the iAuditor pipeline inspection software, pipeline engineers and safety inspectors can benefit from intuitive smartforms to maximize audit efficiency, streamline data collection, and improve team collaboration to ensure the effective maintenance of pipeline systems
Here are some tips on how to use iAuditor to optimize your pipeline inspection process:
Download, customize, and create intuitive pipe inspection templates
Our public library has over 100,000 pre-made inspection templates where pipeline maintenance personnel can download ready-to-use inspection templates from industry professionals. You can also convert your existing paper templates via smartscan or create a new one from scratch with our user-friendly, drag-and-drop template builder. Create versatile smartforms with iAuditor; no coding required.
Perform pipe inspections using your mobile device
You can use the iAuditor pipeline inspection software even if you are offline. The data you collect will automatically be saved via unlimited cloud storage upon connecting to the internet. With your smartform, you get a variety of response types, including yes/no, multiple choice, and freeform text, so you can collect the right information. Take pictures and annotate them for evidence and easy visual reference and immediately assign corrective actions to the right people mid-inspection so issues are resolved immediately.
Generate professional reports minus the hassle
Upon completing your pipeline inspection, you can generate a comprehensive report in seconds without having to manually compile your inspection data. Set up auto-share so that reports are automatically sent to the right people, saving you more time and energy. You can even hide/unhide report information to keep the focus on the most important details.
Review your inspection history via data analytics
One of iAuditor’s best features is data analytics. This feature analyzes collated inspection data and provides useful insight, such as frequently failing items, that can help you spot trends and identify patterns that may uncover the root cause of issues.
Track assigned inspections and corrective actions to ensure that everything is covered
Ensure accountability by having a pipeline inspection software that allows you to track the status of assigned inspections and corrective actions anytime, anywhere. Put mandatory answer fields in inspection templates and require digital signatures to ensure that inspections are done according to protocol.
iAuditor’s pipeline inspection software optimizes pipeline inspection processes in a number of ways. From easy smartform customization to automated reporting, iAuditor’s versatile mobile solution simply makes pipeline maintenance faster and easier.
A pipeline inspection software is used by pipeline engineers to assist them in periodic pipeline maintenance inspections. Pipeline maintenance inspections help ensure that pipelines are free from corrosion, leaks, and other types of damage that could endanger workers and negatively affect operations.
With the iAuditor Pipeline Inspection Software, pipeline engineers and safety officers can use digital smartforms instead of manual pen-and-paper checklists to make inspection and reporting easier than ever. Use iAuditor’s versatile software to streamline your pipeline maintenance process:
Digital pipeline inspection templates to reduce paper clutter
Traditional pen-and-paper checklists can be burdensome. Paper inspection records easily pile up and manually sorting, organizing, and filing them demand both time and space that can otherwise be used for more productive work. iAuditor by SafetyCulture provides pipeline engineers and inspectors with easy-to-use digital inspection templates to reduce paper clutter so they can spend more time ensuring pipeline safety.
Easy access to inspection records in one secure location
Paper records can get lost, damaged, or accessed by unauthorized personnel. iAuditor’s digital platform automatically stores data via secure cloud technology so information is kept safe and accessible only to the right people. Cloud technology allows authorized personnel to access inspection history and statistics from practically anywhere as long as their device is connected to the internet.
Communicate in-app to resolve issues faster
iAuditor’s corrective actions feature gives pipeline engineers and inspectors the power to assign corrective actions on the go so issues are resolved sooner rather than later. By assigning an action and setting an appropriate priority level, repair and maintenance personnel can easily triage so the most urgent problems can be addressed first.
Download Free and Customizable Pipeline Inspection Checklists
A pipeline corrosion report form is an assessment signed off by the site supervisor to demonstrate that pipelines meet corrosion protection requirements. This intuitive report form guides inspectors what details should be included when a criteria is satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or not applicable. When inspectors discover coating damage, they will be prompted to take photos of these potential corrosion-related problems and briefly describe the repairs needed or done. Complete the pipeline corrosion report form with digital signatures.
A pipeline corrosion inspection checklist is a simple tool used by frontline workers to perform preventive maintenance on pipeline systems daily. This 20-item checklist includes the crucial inspection points of the coating and cathodic protection of a pipeline. You can customize this checklist according to your pipeline corrosion control measures in minutes. With iAuditor’s scheduling feature, team members get notifications of the corrosion inspections to be done and area managers gain visibility of exactly where, when, and who did them in real-time.
A pipeline corrosion log sheet is a recordkeeping tool used by pipeline personnel or corrosion engineers to regularly document daily or weekly pipeline inspections. This digital log sheet is based on the SPCC template tier 1 qualified facility, and it has been designed to help you easily add an unlimited number of inspections with the right details such as the date, scope, and observations. Automatically save all data, secure log sheets in the cloud, and share them with key stakeholders in the organization.
A pipeline commissioning checklist is a step-by-step guide used by pipeline engineers to perform flooding spread set up, pipeline pig valve launching sequence, and pipeline flooding, pigging, gauging, and chemical injection. Use this checklist to proactively ensure that the pipeline has been properly installed so that its corrosion-resistant coating stays in good condition. Failed items on this mobile checklist triggers real-time notifications to the site supervisor or area manager to immediately take corrective action.