A pig in the pipes

Published: Wednesday 31 May 1995

A DEVICE called the "Instrument Pig" will soon be used to monitor the health of gas pipelines. Being developed by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the indigenously manufac- tured device is expected to be ready in a little over 2 years. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the 2 organisations on April 17.

The Pig is a cylindrical device which uses the magnetic flux leakage technology, sensors and an electronic memory to traverse inside the pipeline along with the fuel. It is supported by polyrethane cups, and its electronic memory stores details of the wall's thickness and the extent of corrosion.

The data is then computer-pro- cessed to determine the exact areas needing maintenance or repair. The Pig can negotiate 80- 100 krn a day. It is, for the moment, being imported and hogs a whopping Rs I lakh per km, most of it in foreign exchange.

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