Disturbance in the pipeline

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


In energy production, disruptions caused by corrosion pose a potential risk. The accompanying description of an incident in the pipeline illustrates how VALTO Observer enables quick response in case of any disruptions and prevents potential major damages from occurring.

Incident Description

In late winter, during the early hours of the morning, an operator on rounds at the facility received an alert about a sudden drop in pressure in the pipeline. Previously, small, gradually progressing point-like corrosion had been observed on the surface of curve 6 (MS/H +4.990) during the annual inspections. The curve was planned to be repaired during the next downtime. For an unknown reason, steam had entered the pipeline, which had accelerated the corrosion process.  As a result, a section of the pipe containing hydrogen gave in, causing it to rupture.

In the inspection room at the end of the pipeline, an IoT sensor measuring pressure sent an alarm to the mobile phones of the respective operators. The situation required quick action. The operator on duty immediately opened the floor plan and the structure image of the line via the mobile phone VALTO Observer, where he found the location of the ruptured curve and the information on the pipe valve from the POI point for immediate closure, as well as activating the backup pipeline. The situation was over in a few minutes, and major damage was avoided.

VALTO Observer is designed to facilitate the maintenance of boilers and pipelines. The application has been developed by experienced professionals responsible for boiler maintenance and operational work. The system enhances condition monitoring, planning, and occupational safety, while also expediting maintenance downtime. Through the visual interface, boiler operators can monitor and anticipate wear, for example, in the fittings and respond to anomalies. All in all, VALTO is more than just a tool; it connects all the necessary information exactly where it is needed.

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Lassi Halme, DEKRA, expert