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Mastering Pipeline Inspection Data
Understanding how ILI Data Quality influences Effective Defect Assessment
Instructors: Dr. Michael Beller and Dr. Konrad Reber

The course is 4 sessions: 2 sessions per week over 2 weeks.
Course times are from 9am to 1:30pm US Central Time each day.


Regulatory requirements are increasing and leading to a growing demand for collecting a comprehensive set of data needed to assess the true state of a high-pressure pipeline. Safe and efficient operation of a pipeline requires ensuring the mechanical integrity by confirming its safe Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP).

Good quality data is the key to an effective integrity assessment and confirmation of fitness-for-purpose.
Input required to achieve this entails best possible sizing of defect geometries, knowledge of actual material properties and a good understanding of acting global and local loads.

Today, a wide range of non-destructive testing technologies are available for the inspection of pipelines in order to collect this type of data. However, making best possible use of that data requires a thorough understanding of thresholds, accuracies and confidence levels of the various technologies, especially with increasing need for assessing complex defect geometries as well as coincident defects.

This new course addresses the issues and importance of the quality and reliability of inspection data with a special focus on the requirements of Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA), repeat inspection and defect growth analysis.

It investigates the most widely used technologies for in-line inspection as well as external inspection.
Delegates will obtain a good understanding of the individual strength and weaknesses of different non-destructive testing principles. Thresholds, achievable accuracies and confidence levels of different technologies and their applications are discussed in detail especially with regard to using input from multiple data sets.

This new course provides the ideal link between classes on inspection technologies for traditional and difficult to inspect pipelines and classes focusing on performing defect assessment.

Rational and goals for the Course

The course fills a missing link. Inspection experts, integrity experts and operators all have their specific perspective on the pipeline. This fact and the different interpretation of the technical terminology used can lead to misunderstanding between the different stakeholders. 

There are other courses introducing inspection technologies. These courses cover external inspection technologies as well as In-Line Inspection. However, they typically cover the solutions available on the market as well as explaining the technologies (NDT technologies) with a strong focus on the inspection (defect specs) and application perspective (operational procedures). On the other hand, there is a variety of defect assessment classes. These explain or train on the “doing”, i.e. how is a defect assessment and determination of a maximum allowable operating pressure done, for instance for dents, metal loss or cracks. The missing link is bringing it together. In order to do effective integrity assessment three parameters must be known: defect geometry, actual material characteristics and true loading conditions.

The new course views and explains non-destructive testing from an integrity perspective. Questions raised and discussed are effects of defect geometry, data quality and combining data from different non-destructive inspection sources. Inspection issues go beyond finding defects in the pipe wall or coating, but also address determination of material characteristics, such as yield, UTS, toughness or fracture toughness. Special emphasis is placed on truly understanding the issues of thresholds (what is the smallest defect I can see), achievable accuracies (how accurately can I size it) and confidence levels (how sure am I that I sized and characterized it correctly?).

Fully understanding the actual integrity of a pipeline also requires understanding the effects of interacting defects as well as coincident defects and features. This is not just limited to interaction within one particular defect class, but over the whole spectrum of possible anomalies, for instance dents interacting with metal loss or cracks.

It is important to understand the various parameters in the design of automated inspection equipment influencing data quality with regard to the issues raised above.

The course aims especially to help delegates understand the requirements placed on non-destructive testing regarding ECA and certain stipulations within the Mega Rule.

Learning Outcomes

  • Delegates will have an overview of the most widely used non-destructive testing methods for pipeline inspection and their respective quality aspects. This will include technologies based on electromagnetic principles as well as ultrasound principles.
  • Delegates will understand and be able to explain the strength and weaknesses of the various
  • Delegates will understand the importance of defect geometries and how these relate to the detection and sizing capabilities of specific non-destructive testing technologies.
  • Delegates will develop an understanding of the concepts of thresholds, accuracies and resolutions.
  • The importance of confidence levels will become clear.
  • Delegates will understand the operational parameters influencing the choice of a suitable inspection technology.
  • Delegates will understand the value chain of data quality.
  • Delegates will understand which parameters need to be known for an effective defect assessment and which effect poor data quality has on results.

Who should attend?

  • Operators (engineers or managers responsible for inspection, engineers or managers responsible for defect assessment),
  • Engineering consultants (integrity or pipelines),
  • Regulators,
  • Certification companies,
  • Young professionals in the pipeline industry,
  • Students of pipeline engineering.


On completion of the course, participants will be eligible to receive 1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s).

 Organized by:

Clarion Technical Conferences