Current methods of inspection of insulated pressure vessels require halting of operation and removal of the insulation layer. That, of course, leads to significant loss of time and money. Company Statoil, the largest oil and natural gas mining and processing company in Scandinavia, therefore announced an innovation competition for a solution which would allow the examining of the condition of vessels while in use. A total of 32 projects entered the competition and the best three were chosen. The experts in Statoil were impressed the most by the solution of Czech company ADVACAM. Second place was claimed by the German Fraunhofer Institute followed by company Cybernetix (France) in third place. ADVACAM is a spin-off company which has been successfully commercialising intellectual property created in cooperation with Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics of CTU in Prague.
ADVACAM presented a solution based on a method of 3D projection of the wall of insulated pressure vessels using backscatter of X-rays passing through the wall of the vessel. The backscatter of X-rays from the material is then measured to determine the condition of the vessel. This differentiates the method from classic procedures which require rays to pass through the material. It allows the scanning for damage in insulated pressure vessels such as internal and external corrosion, ruptures, weld defects etc. without the need to disconnect the vessels and remove the insulation layer.
The scatter of rays from the vessel wall is captured using unique imaging detectors which allow the detection of individual photons and their spectrum of wavelengths. These detectors are developed and produced in the Czech Republic directly by ADVACAM. They are characterised by a number of unique properties such as high sensitivity, high scanning speed, high resolution, high efficiency and energy sensitivity.
"Our company specialises, among others, on non-destructive testing of various types of materials. Our victory in this project competition is above all a sign of recognition of the work of our development team," says Ing. Jan Jakůbek Ph.D., the head of research and development in ADVACAM. "In competition with over thirty different solution designs, our method was evaluated as the best. This also confirms the fact that Czech applied research, in this case originating from the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics of CTU, can make its presence felt in the face of international competition,“ he concludes.
Company ADVACAM is currently represented by two companies with the same ownership: ADVACAM Oy in Finland (founded in 2012) and ADVACAM s.r.o. in Prague (founded in 2013). ADVACAM develops and sells complete camera systems with high added value in many countries. Currently, it has over 40 major customers in over 20 countries. However, its activity goes far beyond the production and sale of detectors. The ADVACAM team provides customers with comprehensive solutions from creating methodology to verification of the methodology to providing the final realisation of measurement.
Statoil ASA is a multinational company operating in the field of power engineering and mining and processing of oil and natural gas. Its main office lies in Norway. Currently, it has branches in 36 world countries and is the 11th largest oil company in the world in terms of turnover (Forbes 2013). It employs a total of 23,000 people all across the globe.
Contact for Press:
Communication Manager ADVACAM, s. r. o.
tel.: +420 736 675 413
Ing. Jan Jakůbek Ph.D., the head of research and development in ADVACAM
Statoil Facility, the largest oil and natural gas mining and processing company in Scandinavia
Possible configuration of imaging unit and its usage for scanning of pressure vessels: The small shielded cart carries the X-ray tube unit in the center (red box), collimators integrated in the shielding (black) and several imaging detectors (blue) detecting scattered X-ray radiation (yellow).